press release

In 1978 Achille Bonito Oliva coined the term Transavantgarde to define the work of a group of Italian artists including Sandro Chia, Francesco Clemente, Enzo Cucchi, Nicola De Maria, and Mimmo Paladino. Since then it has became the "official" term used to refer to a movement that, in a short time, was to achieve international renown. "Transavantgarde - wrote Bonito Oliva summing up the spirit of the movement - means being in favour of the defeat of the logo-centrism of Western culture and a pragmatism restoring the importance of instinct to the work of art", and again, "transavantgarde has provided a contextual answer to the general catastrophe of history and culture moving beyond the pure materialism of techniques and new materials and coming to the inactuality of painting meant as the ability of giving back to the creative process its intense eroticism, the depth of an image which does not renounce the pleasure of representation and narration". The MAN of Nuoro, thanks to the curator Achille Bonito Oliva and the MART (that in 2002 acquired on deposit a large part of Alessandro Grassi's important collection within which the Transavantgarde works represent a distinct, homogeneous, and extremely important group) presents a selection of about seventy artworks. The paintings on show are works where the recovery of painterly technique goes beyond the limits of the more abstract and conceptual works that marked the art of the 70's. In choosing his works, a choice deeply influenced by his attraction to colour, Grassi was guided by his own feelings and chose on impulse according to his personal interpretation of what collecting art is about, which is, he states, "something simple and unaffected". The collection traces a careful route across the works of the late 70's and includes a number of historical masterpieces. The artists propose a return to painting and sculpture recovering painting tradition through ironical or aggressive quotations, in this way affirming their freedom to come back to artistic "tradition". Their revisiting of both figuration and lyrical abstraction in a contemporary way is thus filtered through a close meditation on the experiences of the historical avant-gardes of the twentieth century.


only in german

Transavantgarde. The Grassi collection
Kooperation: MART
Kurator: Achille Bonito Oliva

mit Enzo Cucchi, Sandro Chia, Francesco Clemente, Mimmo Paladino, Nicola de Maria