The Fondazione Mudima is pleased to present the exhibition La Face autre de l’autre Face, curated by Davide Di Maggio, which arrives in Milan after being hosted at the Muc – Musée Urbain Cabrol in Villefranche de Rouergue. The exhibition is part of the project Viva Gino! Une vie dans l’art, a major French event that celebrated the passion of Gino Di Maggio, at Les Abattoirs, Musée-Frac Occitanie Toulouse, presenting works of some of the most important movements of the 1900s: Futurism, Fluxus, Nouveau Réalisme, Mono-Ha, Gutai, Videoart, Programmatic and Kinetic Art. The path testifies to the strong bonds of friendship that Gino Di Maggio has woven for years with artists of every horizon, as well as his moral and ethical investment in supporting artistic creation beyond market trends. The problem has therefore become finding a line to apply a criterion for the selection of artists.

Jean Baudrillard in The Conspiracy of Art (1998), argues that “Most contemporary art tends to appropriate banality, rejection, mediocrity as a value and ideology…The move to the aesthetic level saves nothing, indeed: it is mediocrity elevated to the square. It claims to be nothingness and it really is.”

La Face autre de l’autre Face presents instead a selection of 20 artists, most of them Italian, whose interdisciplinary attitude of research allows them to move outside and beyond territorial and linguistic limits, placing themselves at the crossroads between visual art, photography, video and installation, all disciplines frequented and intertwined by each of them.

The space of the Foundation, to be built and shaped, thus becomes the meeting point where their work meets and compares, a crossroads of relationships that before their intervention was far less accessible. The consciousness of the difference of reciprocal languages allows the artists in the exhibition to occupy a position that guarantees an overall vision and to build a house of the coexistence of differences.  More than the visual recording of everyday existence, the artists reveal episodes in which their imaginative capacity meets the intimacy of their own lives, carrying with it the echo of time.

Italian painting plays an important role in the exhibition, warning of the danger that a widespread logic will distract contemporary artists from their natural instincts towards it. Cecily Brown for example stopped painting at the academy, only to resume years later, declaring “I was ashamed of my pleasure in painting. In the end I stopped” (“Flash Art”, June-July, 1998). Almost completely excluded from international exhibitions, Italian painting today shows a great vitality and a return to the cultural and traditional values of the great Italian painting of the Renaissance: Nicola Verlato, Nicola Samorì, Giovanni Manfredini, Alessandro Verdi and Andrea Salvino use languages that continuously renew the figurative tradition and their quality in treating the figure is extraordinary, even with the inevitable differences of the poetics of each artist. Also on show is a prominent personality, such as Renata Boero, a historical Italian artist who has been working for years on the recovery of painting, trying to rewrite its alphabet, taking into account all the transformations that have taken place since the end of the ’60s, when talking about and doing painting was blasphemous.

Photography also plays a central role in the exhibition. A sort of generational passage, starting from the famous sequence on Lucio Fontana by Ugo Mulas, L’attesa, 1964, to the historical work of Uliano Lucas Il posto delle fragole, 1988, to the seductive and almost hypnotic views in black and white by Gabriele Basilico up to Francesco Jodice, whose research investigates the changes in the contemporary social landscape, with particular attention to the anthropological phenomena of contemporary society. Gabriele Basilico up to Francesco Jodice, whose research investigates the changes of the contemporary social landscape, with a particular attention to the phenomena of urban anthropology, Claudio Gobbi, who for some years has undertaken his own artistic research that has as its central themes the history of Europe and Nerina Toci young Albanian artist, with his black and white photos that encapsulate all aspects of the unspeakable ambiguity between imaginary and real space, presence and absence, life and death that takes shape in a dimension of temporal suspension. Daniela Alfarano, starting from the drawing, appropriates a conceptual and installation matrix using a refined technique and Federico Pietrella, who for many years has been working on canvases not with a brush but with one of those stamps used to mark the dates on documents. The resulting image, created with a procedure that recalls pointillism, has a distinctly impressionistic effect. Pierpaolo Curti whose work is influenced by metaphysics and human presence is absent but can be perceived in the architecture of the mind.

Finally a series of artists who have focused their attention on installation, from Christiane Löhr who makes her sculptures and installations using organic elements as delicate building materials. Some of these include horsehair, air-dispersed seeds, tree flowers, plant stalks and smudges. The artist transforms these elements into elaborate and ordered structures, translating the sensitivity and fragility of the chosen material into volumetric forms, to Loris Cecchini, whose work draws its sap from meditation on the concept of “organism”: a continuously evolving system that is self-generating, building its own growth from a module, as occurs in architecture or in the analysis of language.

The artist’s imagery, populated by symbolic and self-poetic structures that dialogue with the surrounding space, is conveyed by a subtle research on materials, from rubbers to plastics to metals.

Andrea Santarlasci, on the other hand, from the very beginning deals with themes that cross all the moments of his research: the relationships and oppositions between natural and artificial, between private space and external environment, between individual reflection and collective dimension, and Diamante Faraldo, in whose work reality demands to be contemplated, reflects on itself, hides and deforms behind the gaze. Installations, sculptures and drawings require contemplation, they impose the need to stop and scrutinize them carefully to distinguish nuances, details and details hidden behind atavistic materials (such as black marble from Belgium) or contemporary ones.

Alfredo Pirri has always shown a particular attention towards the interaction between matter, volume, space and color, as a vehicle of light. His works are constantly confronted with architecture, in order to recreate a habitable space and at the same time a place that performs a social and political function.

Sabrina Mezzaqui, the only one with a video installation on the ceiling. Many of her works are a materialization of the passing of time, bringing into play the sense of manual doing in the repetition for hours of minute gestures (stringing beads, cutting out, folding, drawing small patterns). Writing often appears in the works, short texts, memoirs, literary references, reworked books, and even his videos tell of slow times, recording variations in light or simple natural phenomena such as the dust near a half-closed window or the small stars reflected by the sun on the waves or the falling snow.

They were asked to modify our perception of space, the architecture of the place, our thinking, giving it new life.

This exhibition is the dream and the wake, the imaginary and the reality, the tale and the metaphor. It is a private reflection but on a collective destiny, figures and forms that come out of the work to become thought.

Artists: Daniela Alfarano / Gabriele Basilico / Renata Boero / Loris Cecchini / Pierpaolo Curti / Diamante Faraldo / Claudio Gobbi / Francesco Jodice / Christiane Löhr / Uliano Lucas / Giovanni Manfredini / Sabrina Mezzaqui / Ugo Mulas / Federico Pietrella / Andrea Salvino / Alfredo Pirri / Nicola Samorì / Andrea Santarlasci / Nerina Toci / Alessandro Verdi / Nicola Verlato

Image: Alfredo Pirri, Compagni e Angeli, 1998, 3 m x 3 m x 2 m, panels of colored plexiglass, dismantled and reassembled feathers,

Fondazione Mudima

Via Alessandro Tadino 26

20124 Milan, Italy