Mimmo Rotella, Catanzaro 1918 - 2006 Milan
Koelliker Collection, c/o Robilant + Voena
Happenings. Fluxus. Pop Art. Nouveau Réalisme. Eine Dokumentation Herausgegeben von Jürgen Becker und Wolf Vostell, Rowohlt, Reinbek bei Hamburg, 1965, (illus.);
J.E Robinson & B. Agnes Berecz, New Realisms: 1957 – 1962. Object Strategies between Readymade and Spectacle, The MIT Press, Cambridge, London, U.S.A., U.K., 2010, p. 282, (illus. p.223);
T. Trini, Rotella, Giampaolo Prearo Editore, Milan, 1974, (illus.);
R. D. Fogliaccio, Chi ha strappato il manifesto della Pepsi?, in “Nuovo” (Milan), n. 9, October – December, 1984, (illus. p. 156);
G. Celant, Mimmo Rotella, Skira, Milan, 2007, n. 224, p. 546, (illus. p. 227);
G. Celant, Mimmo Rotella. Décollages e retro d’affiches, catalogue of the exhibition, Milan 2014, p. 338, n. 385, (illus. p.259);
A. Soldaini, Mimmo Rotella, Skira, Robilant + Voena, Milan, 2015, pp. 97 & 206, n. 50 (illus.);
New York New York. Arte Italiana. La riscoperta dell'America, catalogue of the exhibition ed. by F. Tedeschi, Milano 2017, p. 245, n. II.89.
New York, Sidney Janis Gallery, New Realists, 1962, cat., n. 27;
Venice, Padiglione Italia, XXXII Biennale Internazionale d'Arte Venezia, 1964, cat., n. 1, p. 109;
Genoa, Accademia di Belle Arti e Palazzo Reale, Immagine per la città, 1972;
Paris, Musée des Arts Decoratifs, 1928/1973 domus: 45 ans d'architecture, design, art, 1973;
Madrid, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, New Realisms: 1957 – 1962. Object Strategies between Readymade and Spectacle, 16 June – 4 October 2010;
Milan, Palazzo Reale, Mimmo Rotella. Décollages e retro d’affiches, 13 June – 31 August 2014 ;
London, Robilant + Voena, Mimmo Rotella, 6 February – 24 March 2015;
Milano, Museo del Novecento and Gallerie d'Italia, New York New York. Arte Italiana. La riscoperta dell'America, 3 April - 17 September 2017,
“To tear posters from the wall is my only revenge, the only protest against a society that has lost taste for change and amazing transformations. I glue on posters and then I tear them down: new, unforeseen forms come about. It was because of this protest that I abandoned easel painting.”
– Mimmo Rotella, “Autopresentazione”, in Rotella, exhibition brochure (Rome, Galleria d’Arte Selecta, 30 March – 8 April 1957).
Birra, 1962, is an iconic artwork that renders the artist’s rebellious creativity towards a society that is being seduced by political and product consuming propaganda. Applying his technique of décollage, an artistic practice that involved the removal or tearing of pieces of commercial posters from the streets of Rome, he forms a collage that reflects the newly introduced popular culture of the time. Additionally, his rough gestural practice of shredding and scratching posters with a burin, allows him to convey his personal response towards the society’s contemporary socio-economic landscape.
Furthermore, manipulating an image that derives directly from mass media, Rotella realises the conflation of advertising and art. Using a familiar image that is originally designated to influence the public’s desire, Rotella’s vision of restoring “popular” to art stands as a commentary on the power of branding and mass media communication in introducing a new language of global communication.
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Where applicable ARR will be added.