Arte italiana contemporanea. New Entries

Pizziolo, M & Ravasio, R 2007, Arte italiana contemporanea. New Entries, Arte-2000, Milan.

The catalogue of the exhibition held in Milan dedicated to the latest acquisitions, the New Entries, in the Stellatelli collection, curated by Marina Pizziolo and Romano Ravasio. The New Entries are ten artists, aged between twenty-four and thirty-two, who appeared on the Italian artistic scene around the new millennium.

Selection of the artists and the search for works were completed thanks to an assiduous monitoring of the galleries that play a fundamental scouting role in the huge crucible of the art of the young. And, therefore, through direct contact with the artists in their studios, from their debuts on the art scene and through their growth and development. Antonio Stellatelli wanted Marina Pizziolo and Romano Ravasio by his side from the very beginning of this adventure in a stimulating art coaching relationship.

“Already in the years of Stellatelli’s first major historical collection”, we read in the essay by Pizziolo, “we swapped ideas on the possibilities of acquisition and growth of the collection in unforgettable, impassioned discussions. We thought about the aims, the scientific criteria for selection, the critical defences of the collection. But whereas in those years we applied ourselves to a historical corpus of works, to a collection that already had a precise physiognomy, which was the moment to chisel away, going on to identify gaps or tautologies, here it was a matter of starting from scratch. It was very clear that the historical value, the beauty and harmony of the first collection, came about from the fact that it was centred around a very solid conceptual pivot: namely the Corrente movement. Chance is the worse ally in the realisation of any idea, so it was necessary to set ourselves a goal and develop a strategy to achieve it. Hence the calibrating of the coordinates we mentioned. The mosaic we are composing, in new impassioned discussions, in tireless chases, in exciting sorties to the previews of exhibitions, has to reckon with an extremely diverse and changeable scene. Stellatelli has astounded us once again with his capacity for growth, his curiosity about the new artistic languages, the desire to understand. This exhibition presents an important milestone, albeit an entirely partial and provisional one, in the realisation of his new project.”

“But when did art learn the art of laughing?”, writes Pizziolo again. “When Duchamp put a moustache on the Mona Lisa. At the precise moment, that is, when art learned to laugh at itself. Nothing to do with the medieval grotesque, with the pitiless representation of our moral deformity. It was that moustache that opened the door to Artist’s Shit by Piero Manzoni, to Mozzarella in carrozza by Gino De Dominicis, to the possibility of laughing at the sacredness of art. And it is precisely in this way that artists have emerged from the strait-jacket of the explanatory. When art began to reflect on its meaning, instead of telling the stories of the masters of the world or, simply, instead of telling stories. When art began to ponder on its aims, without awaiting the explanations of the critics. A posteriori. When art became a mirror to itself, a powerful self-reflection on itself. Even though, in the hands of the imprudent, the mirror has proven to be a deadly burning glass, triggering a sterile short circuit between invention and reflection on the qualities of that invention.”

The artworks of the collection crowd the Stellatelli home. A series of paintings hangs on the ceilings