Four months after his death, the Madre Museum is devoting a personal exhibition to Luciano Fabro, a leading Italian sculptor of the late 20th century.
The exhibition surveys a singular and innovative artistic career, one already fully formed in the early Sixties before the 1968 movement and the Arte Povera adventure of which Fabro was one of the leading lights, defined in a single, powerful cultural image the collective identity of a group of extraordinary Italian artists.
When Luciano Fabro died at home in Milan on the 22nd of June this year, the planning of the Neapolitan exhibition was already well in hand. The artist had focussed his attention on a selection of works realised between 1963 and 1968: the early years that encompass the first, fundamental and still indispensable artistic investigations into space, materials and technologies: works such as Tubo da mettere tra i fiori or Raccordo anulare (both on display) are still today exemplars for the younger generations, seminal works in the history of contemporary Italian art.
The exhibition, with a title chosen by Fabro himself, Didactica Magna Minima Moralia, was born out of a desire to adhere as closely as possible to the artist’s own concept, faithfully reflecting the structure he had planned and the choices he had made. To this end, the artist’s daughter, Silvia Fabro, curator of the exhibition together with Rudi Fuchs, and Eduardo Cicelyn, Director of the Madre Museum, have carefully assembled and compared all the cross-referenced correspondence and the documents left by Fabro: precise, didactic notes typical of the artist and the master of numerous Brera Academy students, including a complete plan of the exhibition layout.
The show will open on the 20th of October, thus completing, according to the original plan, the last exhibition project conceived by the artist before he passed away. The works presented in the rooms on the third floor of the museum include some of the most famous experiments into the perception of space in the relationship between internal and external realities and into the idea of the work that, in its creation, favours the development of new levels of consciousness. Works such as In cubo in which individuals directly confronts their own dimensionality and are introduced to a new interpretation of themselves in space. Or the mirrored glass and mirrored pieces (Buco, Trasparente) that play on the vision of things, of objects whose well-known image is relocated within a new and destabilizing cognitive order.
In the pure white rooms of the Madre, Fabro’s structures, already exhibited on numerous occasions in Italy and abroad in his retrospective shows, acquire and propagate further and diverse reflections on the relationships between image and reality, between the environment and its perception.
The exhibition is accompanied by an Electa catalogue with an essay by Rudi Fuchs and texts by Eduardo Cicelyn and Silvia Fabro (who also edited the files presenting the works on show and the bibliographical apparatus).
Along with the descriptive caption, the files also contain Fabro’s own statements regarding the individual works. The illustrative material comprises photographs of the “lives” of the works exhibited through their various installations in museums and galleries over the last 40 years.