04.11.2011 — 01.01.2012
Opening: November 3, 2011, 7 pm
The exhibition “Arte Essenziale” presented sculptures and large-scale installations by eight international contemporary artists from Italy, Great Britain, Georgia, and the US. All artists were commissioned by the Italian Collezione Maramotti in Reggio Emilia to produce new works for the exhibition. “Arte Essenziale” was first shown at the Collezione Maramotti in Reggio Emilia and has then being presented at the Frankfurter Kunstverein.
The term “Arte Essenziale” provides the exhibition its title and also serves as its conceptual framework. A concept formulated by the Italian philosopher Federico Ferrari, it attests to the need to identify at the end of the postmodern era a gesture of a new beginning in contemporary art. Central to his considerations is the search for the origin of artistic practice, with particular regard to the essence of the artistic gesture, its necessity, and meaning. For Ferrari, the artistic medium and the particular materiality constitute a definite approach: the essence of the artwork is manifested at the point where the material emerges out of itself to become what it is.
“Arte Essenziale” does not attempt to define a group, but presents individual positions that have developed over the past decade and which appear to share a common understanding of art. On the one hand, they explore the potential and characteristics of the materials employed while situating everyday materials, such as plaster or skin cream, in relationship to symbolically charged materials, like bronze or marble; when expressed sculpturally, this interplay of contrasting substances is heightened and richly sensual. On the other, the artistic positions address philosophical concepts concerning the relationship between material, space, and time.
The exhibition was produced by Collezione Maramotti in collaboration with Frankfurter Kunstverein.
Curator: Federico Ferrari