Senza titolo, 1957
Catanzaro 1918–2006 Milan
Décollage on paper
41 x 40 cm / 16.1 x 15.8 in
A. Soldaini, Mimmo Rotella, Skira, Robilant + Voena, Milan, 2015, pp. 70 & 204, n. 32, (illus.);
G. Celant, Mimmo Rotella Catalogue raisonné, Vol. I 1944-1961, Milan: Skira 2016, p. 347 no. 1957 090 (illus. p.601).
London, Robilant + Voena, Mimmo Rotella, 6 February – 24 March 2015
“The process of linguistic excavation of the cultural object, the poster, was implemented through the “artistic” procedures established by Burri and Fontana: the former making the material speak for itself and reveal its energy; the latter incising its surface, either with a slash or a hole, to find an “other” space. Rotella integrated these two techniques in décollage.” Germano Celant, Mimmo Rotella (p.36: Skira, 2004).
Senza Titolo, 1957 embodies an early example of Mimmo Rotella’s décollages, an artistic practice that involved the removal or tearing of pieces of worn-out commercial posters from the streets of Rome, which he would later reassemble by applying Vinavil (a PVA-based adhesive) diluted with water on prepared canvas. Pursuing his investigation into abstract art, by re-appropriating the designated intellectual frameworks of the posters’ content, his abstract compositions introduced new visual dialogues that aimed to highlight aesthetic values such as the vitality of colours, materiality and compositional conception. More specifically, Senza Titolo reflects the delicacy of Rotella’s craftsmanship by showcasing the formation of a carefully abstract compositional construction which involves the relationship of colours and the juxtaposition of the roughly shaped strips of paper.
Allowing his profound technique to ignite his emotional involvement towards his subject matter, the artwork’s material itself, stands as a unique way to promote his concerns towards his belief that the age of painting had come to an end and that art should be identified within the artist’s gesture. Eschewing figurative representation since 1952, Rotella did not entirely forsake reality as his new technique of décollage was directly linked to society, its cities and its streets.
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