[artinfo] Guglielmo Achille Cavellini at Italian Cultural Institute Gallery

Art-Agenda art-agenda at mailer.e-flux.com
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 
publicity stunts. 

Guglielmo Achille Cavellini is represented 
by <http://interspire.e-flux.com/link.php?M=71352&N=8582&L=16692&F=H>LYNCH 
THAM in New York City.

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