[artinfo] Guglielmo Achille Cavellini at Italian Cultural Institute Gallery
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Tue Apr 8 11:08:33 CEST 2014
Guglielmo Achille Cavellini
April 8-June 8, 2014
Opening: Tuesday, April 8, 6:30pm
Italian Cultural Institute Gallery
814 Montgomery Street
San Francisco, CA
The Italian Cultural Institute of San Francisco,
in collaboration with the Archivio Cavellini in
Brescia and LYNCH THAM in New York City, is
pleased to present Guglielmo Achille Cavellini
1914-2014: a survey exhibition covering two
distinct bodies of Cavellini's work between 1966
and 1990, curated by Amelia Antonucci.
In 1971, Cavellini coined the term
auto-storicizzazione (self-historicization) after
he designed sixteen different museum posters each
featuring the years "1914-2014" and the date of a
solo exhibition celebrating the centennial
anniversary of his birth.
The San Francisco exhibition Guglielmo Achille
Cavellini 1914-2014 follows the 2013 New York
preview that was held at LYNCH THAM from
September 18 to October 27; and opens officially
in the US the series of celebrations dedicated to
Cavellini's life and his achievements. On view
are 14 pieces among which are two pivotal series
"Crates with Destroyed Works" (1966-1970) and
"From the Page of the Encyclopedia" (1973).
"Crates with Destroyed Works" is a collection of
works Cavellini made by destroying the pieces he
was creating and subsequently encasing them into
crates. These works originated from an internal
and emotional source, revealing an attitude
brought about by a deep and obsessive
self-search. The work encapsulated a strong sense
of self-purging and annihilation, as he would
destroy his work for the sole purpose of
re-creating a new ideal, a new form of work.
"From the Page of the Encyclopedia" is a series
of works originating from a theoretical and
linguistic code Cavellini invented as a direct
consequence of self-historicization. Starting
from actual biography, Cavellini expanded his own
life story to temporal hyperbolic appropriations.
Fabric, objects, clothing and living bodies would
become a direct canvas for Cavellini to "paint"
his story. While "Crates with Destroyed Works"
relates to issues of self-annihilation, "From the
Page of the Encyclopedia" are text-based works
that allowed Cavellini to insert himself into the
past and future art history, thereby exploring
the idea of self-expansion in these works.
The son of the artist and president of the
Archivio Cavellini, Piero Cavellini, will be
present at the opening reception.
A comprehensive 70-page catalogue printed by
Colpa Press will be available with essays by
Valery Ois¸teanu, John Held Jr, and Piero
Cavellini and forewords by Paolo Barlera,
director of the Italian Cultural Institute, and
by the exhibition's curator, Amelia Antonucci.
A documentary that features Cavellini's life as
an artist, and his interest in and interactions
with New York artists such as Andy Warhol, Ray
Johnson, Carlo Pittore, Buster Cleveland, and Ed
Higgins III, will also be on view.
The 1981 historical performance of Higgins III,
who painted Cavellini's body as a performance
piece in red, white and green, the colors of the
Italian flag, will be used as inspiration for a
new performance by Luciano Chessa at the opening
Guglielmo Achille Cavellini was born in Brescia,
Italy in 1914. He is a historically important
artist who gave context to the Italian
experimentation period and was the first artist
to bridge postwar Italian art with American Pop
Art. Yet his diverse body of work defies easy
classification. He had quite spontaneously
eradicated art/life boundaries, recycled imagery
from past works, appropriated and reused other
artists' works, generated exhibition
possibilities, staged live events, utilized
advertising strategies, inserted fictions into
real events, celebrated silliness and devised
Guglielmo Achille Cavellini is represented
THAM in New York City.
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