International exhibitions

International 2009 Archives

Gilberto Zorio
MAMbo, Bologna (Italy)

15.10.2009 - 07.02.2010

07.09 - 25.11.2012

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Press release

After Giovanni Anselmo, Luigi Ontani and Giuseppe Penone, Gilberto Zorio - internationaly acknowledged as one of the main artists of Arte Povera - is the protagonist of the most exhaustive exhibitions of his work so far, showcasing his research from its beginnings to the present day.

The works on display explore the different themes which have always characterized Zorio's worlk, and fully cover an arc of time strectching from 1966 to 2009. Reaching beyond a mere retrospective selection, the works are catalysts for reflections and discourses centred on their own practice : they compose much more than a simple chronogical reconstruction and - according to the artist's specific design - they set up a dialectical relation with each other.

Among the show's key features are the broadness of the selection of works - which rarely has been equaled in a single Italian Museum - as well as the spectularly magical exhibition setup, allowing Zorio's art to exceed passive visibility and act within the museum's context.

The pivotal piece of the exhibition path is Torre Stella Bologna, a work specifically realized by the artist for the present show : a dramatic architectural intervention, a tower with a five-pointed star layout rising like a fortress in the "Sala delle Climiniere".

The work, taking up Zorio's recurrent symbolism, has a somewhat mysterious dimension : its star-like shape, "the universe's projection in our consideration of things", isn't immediately evident, but can only be grasped by following its perimeter. The space absorbs its strong impact and is modeled by it ; the star's points cut through the exhibition space and radiate energy in the museum's various areas, often reaching out of the rooms themselves.


Exhibition 15 October 2009 - 7 February 2010. MAMbo - Museum of Modern Art, Via Don Minzoni 14 - 40121 Bologna (Italy).

Gilberto Zorio,MAMbo, Bologna

© ArtCatalyse International / Marika Prévosto 2012. All Rights Reserved

Many other big-sized works in the show involve constant elements of Zorio's artistic language : the canoe, the javelin, the crucible in his intentions all gain an archetypical status as forms chosen by the human being to measure the incommensurable. Other key works are Macchia IIII (1968), set in the museum lobby as an introduction to the artist's universe ; early works such as Letto (1966), Pelli con resistenza (1968), Luci (1968), Per purificare le parole (1969), Odio (1969) ; the star in this different versions, from Stella incandescente (1972), Stella di giavellotti (1974) and Stella di bronzo (1978) to the more recent Stella Sparks (2008) and Stella Pyrex (2009) ; the canoe, a means of exploration central to Canoa (1987), Canoa che avanza (2008), Canoa che ruota (2009) ; the Crogiuoli from 1981.

The exhibition path underlines Zorio's deep fascination for physical, chemical and alchemical processes, traceable to his early works from the late Sixties and early Seventies, as well as his interest in all those modifications, aggregations, tensions and contrats within matter itself that can lead to the revelation of new possibilities. The presence of electric devices, fluorescences, and strobe lights prepares visitors for the unforeseen, and leads them to surrender themselves to the surprise of the artist's work.