december 14, 2018 - Masi Lugano

How Evil Is Pop Art? New European Realism 1959-1966

How Evil Is Pop Art?

New European Realism 1959-1966

23 September 2018 – 6 January 2019 Spazio -1. Collezione Giancarlo e Danna Olgiati

Curated by Tobia Bezzola, Director MASI Lugano

From 23 September 2018 to 6 January 2019, the Spazio -1. Collezione Giancarlo e Danna Olgiati will host the exhibition How Evil Is Pop Art? New European Realism 1959- 1966, curated by Tobia Bezzola. The selection of works, from both the Collezione Olgiati and a foremost private collection devoted to European Pop Art, casts light on the European Pop Art phenomena that developed from the late 1950s.

“How evil is Pop Art?”, wondered the journalist and writer Tullia Zevi in 1964 in her review of the Venice Biennale that year, expressing the adverse reaction of a large portion of the public to the emergence of this new art, which appeared in the late 1950s throughout Europe in response to the ever-growing enthusiasm for America's consumer culture, media, and advertising universe.

The exhibition stems from the desire to re-read the European Pop phenomenon via a sophisticated selection of works thanks to the encounter between two private collections: the Collezione Giancarlo e Danna Olgiati, and one of the foremost private collections of this artistic current.

With forty-two works, all of which executed between 1959 and 1966, the exhibition offers a surprising view of the artistic languages that, notwithstanding differences and similarities, were simultaneously formed in France, Great Britain, Italy, and Germany: paintings and sculptures that represent the finest results of European Pop Art show how in these countries a new artistic sensitivity was articulated, one that, in the richness of the formal language and the breadth of the contents, could be compared to the characterizations of American Pop Art.

The exhibition compares the works of thirty-one artists, including pioneers of early British Pop such as Peter Blake, Pauline Boty, Allen Jones, and David Hockney, alongside some of the major exponents of French Nouveau Réalisme, names like Martial Raysse, Jean Tinguely, Niki de Saint Phalle, and Daniel Spoerri; also on display are the works of Peter Klasen and Konrad Lueg representing a radical break from German abstract painting. Lastly, an important position is occupied by the different groups of Italian Pop Art, including famous representatives like Mimmo Rotella, Franco Angeli, Gianfranco Baruchello, Tano Festa, Mario Schifano, and Michelangelo Pistoletto, who distinguished themselves for the multiplicity of their languages, as well as for the inescapable link with the cultural tradition of their country.

The exhibition is accompanied by an Italian-English catalogue, including an introductory text by the curator Tobia Bezzola, director of MASI #lugano, along with a critical essay by Vincenzo de Bellis, curator at the Walker Art Center of Minneapolis. Also included are the colour reproductions of all the works exhibited. Mousse Publishing, Milan.

The works of the following artists will be exhibited:
Franco Angeli / Gianfranco Baruchello / Peter Blake / Pauline Boty / Christo / Allan D’Arcangelo / Niki de Saint Phalle / Erró / Tano Festa / Claude Gilli / Raymond Hains / David Hockney / Alain Jacquet / Allen Jones / Konrad Klapheck / Peter Klasen / Jean-Jacques Lebel / Richard Lindner / Konrad Lueg / Elio Marchegiani / Fabio Mauri / Aldo Mondino / Pino Pascali / Silvio Pasotti / Peter Phillips / Michelangelo Pistoletto / Martial Raysse / Mimmo Rotella / Mario Schifano / Daniel Spoerri / Jean Tinguely

Spazio -1. Collezione Giancarlo e Danna Olgiati

The Collezione Giancarlo e Danna Olgiati is part of the MASI #lugano, #museo d’arte della Svizzera

italiana network. Spazio -1 is located next to the #laclugano #arte e Cultura cultural centre,

hosting over 200 masterpieces ranging from the 1950s to the present. The contemporary art

collection of Giancarlo and Danna Olgiati, on loan to the City of #lugano since 2012, is offered to

the public in ever-changing installations accompanied by temporary exhibitions devoted to a

further analysis of the works of the artists in the collection.

Spazio – 1
Collezione Giancarlo e Danna Olgiati Lungolago Riva Caccia 1, 6900 Lugano

+41 (0)91 921 46 32 (Fri – Sun, when open) |

Friday - Sunday: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Mondays closed

Free Admission