A new edition of spot!, a rendez-vous at cocktail hour offering a guide to the appreciation and interpretation of a work of art, is returning to the Palazzo delle Esposizioni to mark "The Guggenheim. The American Avant-Garde 1945-1980" exhibition at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni, with a series of seven encounters designed to explore trends and players in American art after the Second World War: from Abstract Expressionism, through Pop Art, to Conceptual Art and Photorealism. The event, masterminded by Art Workshop Director Paola Vassalli, is scheduled to commence on Friday 10 February and will be conducted Daniela Lancioni, senior curator with the Palazzo delle Esposizioni.
Spot! Guggenheim Collection - Andy Warhol, Orange Disaster #5, 1963
In Warhol's work the nature of the silk-screen printing technique, widely used in the 'sixties to promote consumer goods, is enhanced by repetition of the image. An excellent example of this can be seen in Orange Disaster, where an electric chair is reproduced in 15 images that are identical both in colour and in size. The 15 images make up a uniform grid which covers the entire surface of the canvas, a typical feature in much of Warhol's work. Warhol was one of the most popular American artists, yet even today critics are still split over his deliberately ambiguous output, some judging it to represent the triumph superficial values while others consider it, on the contrary, to glide very close to traumatic reality.
Spot! Guggenheim Collection - Agnes Martin, White Flower, 1960
Approximately four square metres of canvas, criss-crossed by horizontal and vertical lines. These are the constants in Agnes Martin's best-known works, and they also define her painting entitled White Flower, in which each of the rectangles formed by the intersection of the lines is marked by two symmetrical pairs of dotted lines. Hailling originally from Canada, the painter spent a long time in the desert of New Mexico, frequently naming her paintings after natural phenomena and elements that testify to her links with the organic world. Yet rather than depicting their objective appearance, she portrays their transcendent value: the light that infuses them and the humble and delicate feeling that they emanate.
Spot! Guggenheim Collection - Bruce Nauman, Live-Taped Video Corridor, 1970
The is one of the most famous works by this celebrated American artist from the West Coast, who was one of the first artists to spread his work over film, performance art, installations and environments. Starting in 1968, Nauman produced several different versions of Corridor, all of them structures that the observer can travel through yet all permeated with a sense of claustrophobia. In this version, from the Italian Panza di Biumo collection, two monitors relay the image of the visitor against the backdrop of the corridor. Thus in order to seize that image, the observer has to interact with the work of art (only by moving through it right to the end can he or shee see the monitors' image and experience the difficulty inherent in moving), in order to complete an experience during which he or she does not feel welcomed by the environment so much as challenged by the artist.
Spot! Guggenheim Collection - Chuck Close, Stanley, 1980-1981
In this large-scale oil portrait, the American artist depicts a travelling salesman whom he met on the beach. Working from a photograph, Close transfers the image onto a grid and then from that grid onto canvas by systematically applying small coloured dots to it. In this portrait too, as in other works of his, he adopts monumental proportions that go way beyond the life-size. An exponent of the artistic movement known as Photorealism or Hyperrealism, the artist melds in his paintings an abstract component, which can be detected in the details of the painting, with a faithful reproduction of the photographic image.