Concetto Pozzati XXL at Palazzo Fava, Bologna

Concetto Pozzati XXL at Palazzo Fava, Bologna

The never-seen paintings, the largest and most intimate by Concetto Pozzati, are exhibited in Bologna in the beautiful exhibition “Concetto Pozzati XXL” set up at Palazzo Fava Palazzo delle Esposizioni curated by Maura Pozzati, art critic and director of Archivio Concetto Pozzati. The exhibition represents the first anthological exhibition of the artist after his death and was promoted by the Cassa di Risparmio Foundation in Bologna and by Genus Bononiae.

Concetto Pozzati, “Pom”, 1968, acrylic and mirror on canvas, 200 x 300 cm, courtesy Archivio Concetto Pozzati

Concetto Pozzati (Vo’ Vecchio, Padua 1935 – Bologna, 2017), son of Mario and nephew of Sepo (Severo Pozzati) was one of the most innovative figures among the various cultural movements of the post-war period, from Surrealism to Informalism to Pop Art. Throughout his vast production, his works maintain a strong relationship with the sign, a distinctive trace of his style, which has made him one of the most appreciated and famous representatives of Italian Pop Art. The curator Maura Pozzati was invited by Genus Bononiae to plan an exhibition on her father. She explains the idea behind this project like this: «I thought it was the right opportunity to bring out from the drawers of Archivio Concetto Pozzati the artist’s old dream: an exhibition of large format paintings, the so-called “oversized”, created between 1963 and 2014». And this is precisely how this fantastic exhibition was born in the rooms on the main floor frescoed by the famous Carracci, Albani and Bartolomeo Cesi up to the second floor of the Palace, with around fifty works, including many that the artist had kept for himself and never put up for sale, or others not exhibited for some time. An unprecedented extra extra large Pozzati.

Concetto Pozzati, “Sotto chiave”, 2014, acrylic and enamel on canvas, 175 x 200 cm, courtesy Archivio Concetto Pozzati

It is a delightful surprise for the visitor, upon entering the first room dedicated to the stories of Jason and Medea, to intercept the magical dialogue between the Carracci seventeenth-century art and the large spectacular diptychs (200×600 cm) by Concetto: a system of language and signs that highlight the artist’s conceptual and personal elaborations, namely “A casa mia”, “Tempo sospeso”, “Cornice cieca” and “Ciao Roberta”. Among these paintings, created between 2007 and 2010, “Tempo sospeso” (2008), a series of clocks in blue, green, purple and yellow, indicates a fundamental theme full of philosophical reflections on the artist, which we find in his numerous notes, cultured and ironic, published in the catalogue. Like this: «Not the before and then but the here, suspended and still, the profound silence even if from time to time». The poetic and touching “Ciao Roberta” (2007), a tribute to his late wife, depicts intimate and familiar objects: the bicycle saddle, a pink pom pom, a hat, a jacket, a shoulder bag, slippers. Simple elements that become signs of an everyday mythology, explained by the artist: «It is a wardrobe of affections, they are letters (the paintings) that await Godot but a painter must believe in the invisible».

Concetto Pozzati, “Ciao Roberta”, 2007, oil, enamel and acrylic on canvas, 200 x 600 cm, courtesy Archivio Concetto Pozzati

The exhibition does not follow a chronological path, but is wisely divided by theme, suggesting an intimate dialogue between Pozzati’s paintings and the frescoes or architectural elements in the rooms. In the Albani room we find two large canvases with mirrors created in 1968, the “Les Regardeurs” moment: “Segnaletica” and “Pom132” and the sculpture “Mare decorativo con pioggia”. In this regard, Pozzati writes in his notes: «Re-watch. Everyone loves each other in a “universe of mirrors”». Three works from the late 1980s in acrylic and oil on canvas from the cycle ” A che punto siamo con i fiori?” are exhibited in the Cesi Room. From here, with the roses from the 60s, a Pop fil rouge starts up to the recent series “Vulvare” (2016), very chromatic, playful and ironic. On the upper floor of the exhibition there are many works on paper, including a very important and enormous work: “Dopo il tutto” (1980), composed of 301 mixed media drawings, presented for the first time at the Galleria De’ Foscherari in Bologna in 1981 and ten years later at the Gallery of Modern Art in Bologna.

Concetto Pozzati, “Vulvare”, 2016, acrylic and collage on canvas, 175 x 200 cm, courtesy Archivio Concetto Pozzati

Pozzati was a great artist, also inspired by his ideal masters René Magritte and Giorgio de Chirico. He participated in various Quadrennials in Rome, in the Venice Biennials, in the Sao Paulo Biennials in Brazil, in Tokyo and in Paris, in Documenta in Kassel (1964). He has exhibited his work in prestigious museums in Italy and abroad, including Palazzo Grassi, Venice, Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome and the San Paolo Museum in Brazil. But he was also a man of civic commitment, a brilliant intellectual, a much loved teacher in the Academies of Florence, Venice, Urbino (of which he was director) and Bologna. The magnificent space of Palazzo Fava and the expertise of the curator have made it possible with this great retrospective to introduce the young public to a fascinating and still current artist, with his overwhelming pop colors and outsized paintings. And above all with his drawing, a tool for «saying with the sign understood as necessity» which has its peak in the re-installation of the gigantic “Dopo il tutto” a work in which one can lose oneself looking at the world of Concetto, which is like “a great library”, with many extraordinary drawings, made with collage techniques and different images of the natural and animal world, old photographs and scraps of paper. A suggestion to fully appreciate it can be found again in his precious notes: «An inventory of the end and a catalog on the non-difference of signs and images» or even «Retrace the signs as if they were words. A pleasure of marking while we draw. Drawing after having seen and “listened”».


Concetto Pozzati XXL
27/10/2023 – 11/02/2024
Palazzo Fava
Via Manzoni 2, Bologna


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website.