A journey into the heart of Man and the destiny of plastic forms. This is the profound sense of the great exhibition of Giuliano Vangi, curated by Gabriele Simongini, that will take place in Rome in the two pavillons of the Contemporary Art Museum of Rome MACRO in Testaccio with settings designed by Mario Botta and the organization of Studio Copernico in Milan, from 18 October 2014 to 18 January 2015. The protagonists of this exhibition will be thirty sculptures, many of which are enormous, and thirty drawings that represent a surprising Vangi, who addresses the younger generations with a powerful sculptural reflection on the relationships of Man with nature and society, as well as with violence and abuse. Winner of the 2002 Praemium Imperiale prize for sculpture, and considered the greatest Italian contemporary figurative sculptor, Vangi returns to Rome with an important exhibition after a lengthy absence: his last one-man show took place at the Italo-Latin American Institute, in 1978.
This exhibition is based mainly on his creations of the past ten/eleven years (28 of the total 30 works on display), in addition to his drawing, plus eleven sculptures created in 2014, many of which were specifically realized for the MACRO in Testaccio ..
As Simongini writes in the catalogue published by Silvana editoriale: «paraphrasing Pasolini, we can say that Vangi’s sculpture has the power to reveal “the outrageous revolutionary force of the past”, as well as memory and tradition in a period of time dominated by darkness and oblivion . By means of plasticity, the Tuscan sculptor attempts to emphasize the “scandal” of the great story of Man and his destiny, formed on the ruins of modernism and postmodern fragmentation. Vangi has the courage to engage the tensions of epic poetry, myths and tragedy: words and concepts that have been deleted and are neglected nowadays. ”
The exhibition will be extraordinarily enhanced by the settings of a great architect, Mario Botta, who has followed the artworks of Vangi throughout the years. Concerning this relationship, Simongini writes: « Giuliano Vangi plays on the powerful intensification of social and human reality by realizing an emotional polyphony that has no equal in the current art scene, and which is also the result of an admirable process of distillation of the entire pluri-millenary sculptural tradition through the splendidly devised coexistence of different idioms in a single work. His polyphonic vocation is enhanced by the measured poetic settings that Mario Botta has conceived for the two pavillons of the MACRO in Testaccio, in a closely knit dialogue with Vangi who enlightens as well as accompanies the profound consistency of his career. So here we find the taut coexistence of two large areas populated by Vangi’s cosmogony, the first more dramatic one is traversed by the constant alarming presence of violence, while the second is more lyrical and focused on the Man/nature relationship, that fundamental chapter of our world adventure which – especially today – is of crucial importance for the survival of a millenarian balance that is being seriously threatened by the virus ‘Man’. ”
Among the works on display are exceptionally large bronzes such as “Veio” (2010), three massive granites (“Persona”, “Granito rosso” and “Ulysses”), a shocking impact sculpture on the tragic and more-than-ever actual theme of decapitation such as “C’era una volta” (2005), a never displayed cycle of huge double-faced works which create a dialogue between sculpture and painting (“La bruma del mattino”, “ L’uomo”, “L’uomo che corre”, all in 2014), three white marble works on the relationship of Woman with Sea (2014), the magnificent “Ragazza con capelli biondi” (2014), in painted linden wood and the bronze “2011”, full of extraordinary realism depicting one of the many “indignados” who set in motion that sweeping international protest movement from Spain.
Giuliano Vangi – Artworks 1994 – 2014, ROME MACRO TESTACCIO, 19 October 2014 – 18 January 2015