The Magnificent Obsession at MART Rovereto, a powerful museum experience in modern and contemporary art

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MART - Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Trento and Rovereto (Museo di Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto, Italy) celebrates its tenth anniversary of activities with "The Magnificent Obsession", an year-long exhibition that put together, mixes and reinterprets modern and contemporary art in a new powerful way. Exhibition dates: October 26, 2012 to October 6, 2013. Updates on Twitter #magnificentobsession.

The MART - Museo di Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto (Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Trento and Rovereto, Italy) celebrates its tenth anniversary with an exhibition that redraws the relationship between its collections and the public, reflects about the museum's heritage and embarks on a new way of observing the latter. The Magnificent Obsession will last almost an entire year, from October 26, 2012, to October 6, 2013, and will occupy the entire second floor of the MART museum.

MART's rich collections have often been presented in thematic exhibitions, with a focus on a particular group of artists or artwork. The tenth anniversary's exhibition aims instead to construct a more extensive overview of the collection, enabling the public to explore it in its integrity and variety, from an unexpected point of view. Frequently the obsession typical of every collector governed the taste of the collection itself, and directed the creation and development of many of the collections donated or loaned to the Mart. This is the starting point for "The Magnificent Obsession", an exhibition for which MART has turned solely to its in-house skills, with the curating undertaken by a team of its curators and conservators: Nicoletta Boschiero, Veronica Caciolli, Margherita de Pilati, Duccio Dogheria, Daniela Ferrari, Mariarosa Mariech, Paola Pettenella, Alessandra Tiddia, Denis Viva and Federico Zanoner. The exhibition at MART Rovereto also reveals and shows the "behind the scene" activities concerning the collections, such as the process and research behind conservation, restoration, institutional relations and study, and unveils its own pulsing heart, the evidence of essence of a museum as an active and constantly evolving organism.

MART director Cristiana Collu expresses the powerful visual and immersive experience of "The Magnificent Obsession" with an handful of adjectives: "Self-thaught, water-diviner, auto-da-fe' of works. Victim or protagonist, recomposed collection, disturbing and provocative, maniacal and fetishist. Obscure object of desire. Secret, sharing, intoxication, celebration. Giddiness of blending".

The show begins with the works of Andrea Malfatti, and through irredentism and the emergence of modernity it leads to Richard Long's "Trento Ellipse", made of porphyry from the local Trentino region. Visitors of "The Magnificent Obsession" will be able to meet the protagonists and most significant examples of Italian and international art: paintings, sculptures, archive documents, graphic works, photographs, books, publishing rarities, posters, applied art and furnishings, with sections dedicated both to the museum's masterpieces, such as those of the Futurist avant-garde, and to less well-known but equally astonishing works, such as those belonging to Italian art of the 1930s (Abstraction, Rationalist Architecture, Mario Sironi, Giorgio De Chirico) or to the 1960s and '70s (Lucio Fontana, Pop Art, Visual Poetry) and more recent times (Andrea Pazienza, Joseph Beuys, Irving Penn, Christian Boltanski, Alighiero Boetti, Richard Long).

The layout of the exhibition at MART is chronological in scope, but not in the sense of a sequence of historicized trends and movements bringing instead a fresh view, and open to the theme of striving for identity as a museum which has distinguished itself for its dynamism over the last ten years. The works are presented at "The Magnificent Obsession" without any visual hierarchy, mixing the collections of the MART museum and highlighting the differences between categories through a temporal shift, with the goal of helping to create a dialogue between the decades, in the manner of the "previews of the future" offered by the past, or of the "archaeology of the present" offered by the current situation. In a certain sense, it the exhibition at the MART Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art constitute a re-evocation of the spirit of the 19th-century salons, exhibitions that represented a different way of looking at works of art. "The Magnificent Obsession" offers a sensitivity close to the criteria of collecting and the visual conditions of reality, rather than the presumed neutrality and ascetic nature of modern and contemporary exhibitions spaces.

The exhibition will also host new works designed and realized for the exhibition by contemporary artists, who will offer their view of the historic succession of the works: Paco Cao, Liliana Moro, Emilio Isgro' and Christian Fogarolli are among the first artists invited to interpreter "MART ́s magnificent obsession".

Guest Artists' biographies

Paco Cao
Born in Asturias (Spain) in 1965, the artist currently lives and works in New York, where he settled in the 1990s after concluding his history of art studies. Paco Cao immediately began working on various artistic fronts without favoring one medium over another, and linking together different disciplines within his work. His artistic processes frequently include a collective dimension and the different cultural identities of social groups. Ever since his initial and provocative "Rent a Body project" (1993-98) and his more recent full-length film, "El veneno del baile" (2009), Paco Cao has ranged from performance to cinema, exploring the profound relationships defining the phenomena of social and cultural aggregation or fragmentation. Among his most significant projects in recent years are "Look-alike Contest Series" (2001-2004), on the theme of individual and public portraiture, and "Don't touch the white woman" (2006), which continues his investigation into the depiction of self and of others. In 2011, he exhibited at the eighth Mercosul Biennale and at the Facets of Figuration exhibition at MoMA New York.

Emilio Isgro'
Born in Barcellona Pozzo di Gotto (Italy) in 1937, Emilio Isgro' is one of the most multifaceted artists and intellectual critics of his generation. Famous for his erasures, or works that arrive at a negative image of an initial text via the obsessive and careful black crossings out that sometimes allow a few words to be made out, Isgro' has also dedicated himself to poetry, journalism and drama. He embarked on his career in the early 1960s, immediately adhering to the research through image and text of Visual Poetry, which anticipated some of the themes and intuitions that would subsequently typify Conceptual Art. Over the years, Emilio Isgro' also explored other approaches to the visual arts, including installations and his recent "sculpture", "Seme d'arancio" (1998), made for his home town. Personal exhibitions of his work have recently been hosted in Italy at the Centro per l'Arte Contemporanea Pecci in Prato (2008), the Fondazione Marconi in Milan (2012) and at the Santa Maria dello Spasimo complex in Palermo (2000-2001). In 2007, Alberto Fiz collected many of his writings from 1963 to the present day in an anthological volume.

Liliana Moro
Born in Milan (Italy) in 1961, where she lives and works, Liliana Moro started working with visual arts at the end of the 1980s, after studying at the Accademia di Brera with Luciano Fabro. In the Milanese cultural melting pot of those years, Liliana Moro was one of the founders of one of the alternative exhibition spaces which revitalized the cultural climate of the city. The artist won important recognition with an invitation to the IXth Documenta of Kassel (1992) and to the Venice Biennale (1993). Her work favors no medium in particular, but concentrates on the individual experience of the observer, who is often invited to go beyond what is visible and reduced to essentials by the artist. Among her personal exhibitions in public spaces, those at the ARC Musee d'Art Moderne in Paris (1993), at the MUHKA in Antwerp (1996) and at the Istituto di Cultura Italiana in Los Angeles (2007).

Christian Fogarolli
Born in Trento in 1983, Christian Fogarolli graduated in Sciences of Cultural Assets from Trento University. Since 2008, he has developed a painterly style marked by various expressive techniques and has at the same time frequented a Master's course in Study, Diagnosis and Restoration of Paintings at Verona University, expanding his artistic interest to include everything from the techniques of Old Masters to contemporary innovations. His painting draws from a hyper-realist inspiration and develops with a more immediate, expressive brushwork alternating in the use of materials, creative tools and supports: from a classic canvas to wood, expanded polystyrene to plasterboard and metal sheeting. The laying down of color, initially with thin but numerous coats of paint, passes through thicker, plastic and sometimes violent material layers embodied in the white plaster or light atmospheres of ash and rust in some backgrounds. Humanity and its dimension within the contemporary context, at both an individual and social level, lies at the centre of his work. He is currently participating at Documenta (13) in Kassel, Germany, with a single work.

"The Magnificent Obsession" at MART - Museo di Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto opens on October 26, 2012 and will be open to the public, with variations of the works proposed and new interventions from the guest contemporary artists, until October 6, 2013. More info on "The Magnificent Obsession" at MART Rovereto is available online at the MART website http://english.mart.trento.it/magnificentobsession. News and updates on the exhibition will be available on Twitter following the hashtag #magnificentobsession e MART's Twitter account @mart_museum.

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MART - Museo di Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto
MART - Museo di Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto (Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Trento and Rovereto, Italy) celebrates its first 10 years of activity featuring several exhibitions, performance and interventions; among others, those from Hermann Nitsch, David Claerbout, Paco Cao, Emilio Isgro', Liliana Moro, Christian Fogarolli and Paolo Meoni. The 2012-13 calendar of MART is available online at the MART website http://www.mart.tn.it.

Press Office MART
Corso Bettini, 43 - 38068 Rovereto (Trento, Italy)
Head of Communication: Flavia Fossa Margutti
Press Office contacts: Luca Melchionna / Clementina Rizzi
Email: press(at)mart.trento.it
Tel: (+39) 0464 454.124 / 127

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