Beyond the dailies


‘The originality of Marcello Gentili’s art consists in using the pages of newspapers as a support for drawings, nearly all of which portray the faces of more or less famous people. In modern art the use of newspaper print has its own brief tradition, from cubist and futurist ‘collages’ to the ‘torn’ billboards of Mimmo Rotella and the erasures of Emilio Isgrò. What appears as new is the attempt to recuperate an ephemeral material ‘par excellence’ like the pages of a newspaper enhancing them which drawings in an association which is no longer casual and often deliberately in contrast with the underling printed texts (which sometimes reappear here and there. in the construction of the figures themselves). The drawings in, or rather beyond the newspapers, made only shortly after the date of publication, take the place of earlier ones, done on common pieces of cardboard and with the same iconographic and for-mal characteristics, which in turn had replaced others. Among the figures portrayed in Marcello Gentili’s two groups of works are political leaders, ‘maitres à penser’, philosophers and men of faith, architects, painters, avantgarde musicians and rock sin-gers; a selection of faces which denotes a particular and lively interest in the many different cultural expressions of our times. Such interest is counterbalanced by a strong attraction for the art of the past set apart in museums. Proof of this is shown in the ‘d’après’, which also form part of the exhibition. These are details of heads and hands taken from the works of Donatello, Mantegna, Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, Pontormo. Here too, the references in the underlying print to historical events or simple everyday stories help to put the illustrious quotations in a modern context. A further and no less important link with current events is noticeable in the figurative composition of the drawings, taken from photos and which deliberately denounce their origin, following the example of well known pop artists who frequently made use of the massmedia like Roy Liechtenstein and Andy Warhol. Twenty drawings on dally newspapers and an equal number on cardboard will be exhibited. From Nascituro to Bambina uscita dal la-ger, from I ragazzi di Medjugorie to La Sindone, the drawings are often accompanied by brief yet intense lyrics of Heidegger and Paul Celan chosen by Gentili himself.’


22 Agosto 1992 - 29 Agosto 1992


Exhibitions Meeting Exhibitions