Prada revela o verso da arte


A Fundação Prada está provocando os amantes da arte a ver o que existe por trás, no sentido poético e literal, registre-se, de obras de arte mundialmente aclamadas. A exposição "Recto Verso" está em cartaz na galeria Nord da fundação até fevereiro. 

É uma provocação muito interessante e vista poucas vezes no mundo. Aconteceu pela primeira vez na Bienal de Veneza de 1968 quando Gastone Novelli exibiu uma de suas pinturas invertida, colocando em evidência, para investigação artística, o que há por trás das pinturas. 



The thematic exhibition “Recto Verso” presents a selection of artworks that  consciously foreground the  concealed, forgotten or overlooked phenomenon of the back. Conceived by the Fondazione Prada Thought Council, whose current members are Shumon Basar, Elvira Dyangani Ose, Cédric Libert and  Dieter  Roelstraete, the exhibition is installed in the Nord  gallery from 3 December 2015 to 14 February 2016.

“Recto Verso” continues an approach from the preceding Nord  gallery  exhibition “In Part”, curated by Nicholas Cullinan,  whereby a latent theme is detected in the Prada Collection, and then  expanded with loaned works  from international and  national institutions and galleries. In this way, the Prada Collection is thought of as an open resource whose potential provides new interpretations of the present.

The Western art tradition has mainly conceived of paintings as frontal  (“recto”) artifacts. The back (“verso”) carries significantly less  cultural meaning, destined to remain  beyond the public’s view, and  only visible to the artists themselves or staff  at museums and  galleries.

In this exhibition, artists over the course of two centuries to today counter this convention by flipping the  back to the  front.  For example, in some works  in the exhibition, the  trompe-l'œil technique, made famous by 18th-century Flemish  painters, is used to focus attention on the frame  rather than  the  picture. In these artworks the back is represented through both the technique of painting, as in the case of Louis-Léopold Boilly, Roy Lichtenstein and  Luca Bertolo,  and  photography, as exemplified by Gerard Byrne, Thomas Demand, Philippe Gronon, Matts Leiderstam and  Ian Wallace. The marks  that  the artists leave  on the back of a painting can  be  diverse in nature and  their intentional revelation of non-visible content can vary: from the explicit message of protest shown by Gastone Novelli during  the 1968 Venice Biennale, when  he exhibited one  of his paintings reversed, like a wall on which political slogans could be  written, to the inclusion of actual images on the back of the canvas, as can be  seen in the works  by Llyn Foulkes and  Giulio Paolini. These only become visible when  they are turned around, thereby calling into question the ascendancy of the recto over the verso. When the back of a painting began to become a subject for artistic research, the
confusion between the two surfaces began to shift towards a fusion  proper, as in the processes of combustion carried out by Alberto  Burri. The structure of the painting may also take  center-stage: Sarah Charlesworth’s double-exposure photography sees through the work itself to emphasize the  structural and  physical features of the represented object. Whereas Carla Accardi replaces canvas with transparent plastic, thus  revealing the otherwise hidden structure and  the wall behind, in recent years Pierre Toby has used glass for the same purpose. In the works  of Pierre  Buraglio  and  Daniel Dezeuze—close to the late-
1960s French art movement Supports /Surfaces—the picture plane vanished completely, leaving  only the  support material.
The disposition of works  in Nord  gallery continues the  theme of reversal and  reveal. A number of pieces are suspended between the dividing walls, transforming what  is normally presented as flat and  two-dimensional into sculptural and  three-dimensional, allowing  visitors to circle around.

In the associated  publication, part  of the  Quaderni series by Fondazione Prada, each of the four members of the Thought Council will provide an essay or story  that  details a historical, architectural or philosophical aspect invoked by this artistic preoccupation.

Recto Verso’s combination of carefully  selected artworks, new scholarship and  innovative exhibition design turns  a simple  gesture into a rich examination of truth,  illusion and  ways  of seeing.


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