The Luigi Pecci Centre for Contemporary Art is holding its second major exhibition since it reopened after renovation work, with parallel shows featuring the work of two of Italy's leading artists from the 1950s and 60s, Domenico Gnoli and Francesco Lo Savio. The exhibitions, one curated by Stefano Pezzato and Daniel Soutif and the other by Bruno Corà, will be the largest Italian retrospectives of their work in recent years.
The main reason for mounting these shows is the extraordinary artistic development of Gnoli and Lo Savio; they belonged to the same generation and were both utterly individual, but antithetical in terms of the specific characteristics of their work.
With regard to this, the Director of the Centre, Daniel Soutif, underlines how «the dialectic between these two major artists – original figures who cannot be tied in with any national or international artistic trend – is further evidence of Italian creativity».
Over 220 of Gnoli's works will be on display, tracing all the phases of his career, ranging from his drawings (many previously unshown) to his theatre sets and sketches; his many illustrations for magazines; his early paintings and his rare experiments with abstraction at the end of the 1950s; a series of sculptures executed in 1968; and his more well-known paintings from 1966–69. The show will also bring together, following the 1990 Madrid exhibition, the diptych painted in 1967, comprising two small but beautiful works, Giuditta e Oloferne (Judith and Holofernes) and Split Personality.
The Francesco Lo Savio exhibition will comprise over 50 works covering all the phases of his brief artistic career : his early abstract work, some examples of Spazio-luce (Space-Light), Filtri (Filters), Metalli (Metals), Articolazione Totale (Total Articulation), his architectural models for residential units produced in the final years of his life and numerous previously unshown documents (photographs, writings and projects). For the first time it will be possible to gain a complete overview of the work of Lo Savio, who, it will be recalled, inspired the work of American minimalists such as Richard Serra, who dedicated a work to him after having seen his work at the Galleria La Salita in Rome.
This retrospective, which will bring together over half of the artist's entire output, will also be the occasion for finally executing fresh photographs of his work, which will result in a catalogue with updated iconographic material. For this reason the catalogue will be published after the show has opened. Amongst other things, it will also contain an introductory essay by Bruno Corà, a critical text by Udo Kultermann and a biography by Silvia Lucchesi.