Paolo Icaro

Paolo Icaro. Unending Incipit

Pinacoteca Comunale, Città di Castello
9 December 2017 - 28 January 2018
curated by Davide Ferri e Saverio Verini

Palace Vitelli in Cannoniera is the setting of Paolo Icaro’s solo exhibition that twists and turns among its historical places, crossing the rooms, the arcade and the Italian garden of the prestigious Pinacoteca where a large-scale installation, made for this specific occasion, will be put.

The exhibition is the occasion to reflect on Paolo Icaro’s work (Turin, 1936). Due to the fact that he lived both in Italy and in the US, Icaro’s style is a fusion of italian and neo-vanguardist american influences. Developed between the Sixties and the Seventies, his personal style contributed to the renewal of contemporary sculpture. While Icaro was producing artworks, the italian and international art scene was facing the flourishing of crucial movements, taking the Arte povera as an example: the artist participated to the very first exhibitions of this artistic trend, even though without his complete adherence.  After that, he developed an independent and original identity, which have put him in the critics’ center of attention since the Seventies; thanks to this identity he is one of the most important italian artists active on the international scene.

Emblematic aspects of Icaro’s poetics can be found at the beginning of Unending Incipit. The first point is the idea that the sculpture constitutes the space – instead of occupying it – and reinvents the time: because of the flux of matter, the sculpture represents the place in which the past renews itself in a continuous and unending present. The following aspects are represented by the autobiographical and vaguely narrative dimension to which some works allude, the written word as recurring element in Icaro’s works – meant as a sculptural gesture, trace of a minimal manual skill able to expand the body of the sculpture beyond its materiality- , and the upward tension together with the desire to go beyond the physical limits of the work, as if inside the object the measure of human limit could encounter the infinity.

These are the suggestions that inspired both the selection of the exhibited works and the expositive path. The latter was imagined as a dialogue and an energetic exchange among the different moments of Paolo Icaro’s exhibition, the different materials the artist had used (gypsum, wood, glass, steel, etc.), and the “inside” and the “outside”, but always respecting the proportion of one work for each room.
In this way, the sculptures and the works collocated in the inside are echoed by the site specific installation that is put in the Pinacoteca garden, which takes its name – “Once upon a time” – from the incipit of every tale. The artist has written this specific incipit on a series of big wood panels belonging to two oak trunks, and he installed vertically, as if they were two pages of a single book scattered in the space.

The exhibition is provided of a prestigious limited edition catalogue edited by Magonza, together with the critic contributes by Davide Ferri and Saverio Verini, and a rich array of iconographic references of the exposed works, which were photographed in situ by Michele Sereni.

The exhibition was promoted by the municipality of Città di Castello, Association Palazzo Vitelli in Saint Egidio, Magonza, Atlante, with the contribution of Cartoedit, Giuntini, Conagit S.p.A., Petruzzi.

The Pinacoteca Comunale of Città di Castello, location where the exhibition is held, is seated into a Renaissance palace that was built between 152 and 1532 and completed in 1545. It was the house of Alessandro Vitelli and Angela de’Rossi. Together with the Galleria Nazionale of Perugia, the Pinacoteca presents the principal art collection of Umbria: inside it is possible to admire important examples of Renaissance and Manierist painting,  including some of the very firsts work of Raffaello and Signorelli. The main facade of the palace that overlooks the Italian garden is decorated with amazing graffiti by Cristoforo Gherardi and others, following Giorgio Vasari’s draft.
The Pinacoteca Comunale has held important expositive events and since 2005, which is the year of the restoration of east side of the palace, an inauguration to the contemporary was made. Among the personal and collective expositions we cite Prima di Burri e con Burri (2005), Josef Albers. Arte come esperienza: i metodi di insegnamento di un maestro del Bauhaus (2013), Segno Forma Gesto (2014), Carlo Zauli. I bianchi (2015), Governare il caso. L’opera nel suo farsi dagli anni sessanta ai nostri giorni (2015-2016) and the first event of the Extramuros Project, entitled Violenti Confini (2017).

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