Mauro Manfredi passed away in October, 2004. At the time, his work was being shown in the exhibition, A SHRIEK FROM INVISIBLE BOX REVISITED II, at Medialia Gallery, Space II. His and Fernando Andolcetti's work were introduced to me by the influential Fluxus artist, Takako Saito, who is based in Düsseldorf, Germany. The news of Manfredi's death saddened me deeply, because it occurred before I was able to introduce his sensitive and unique work to the New York art world. This exhibition, MESSAGES FROM MAURO MANFREDI, is a prelude to a future retrospective exhibition at Medialia ... Rack and Hamper Gallery. The opportunity to know the works of Delio Gennai and Elisabetta Gut came from Andolcetti and Manfredi. I was very impressed by their extremely fine and poetic expression, and accomplished technique. Their delicate expression shows through concept, material, and craft. All four artists have exhibited in museums internationally.
Mauro Manfredi was born in 1933 in Parma, and died in 2004 in La Spezia, Italy. Since the early 1970's his expression has suggested visual poetry, particularly in book art. At the same time his passion was then creating pseudo musical instruments. These were created from an ironic and alchemic point of view. Manfredi has had over 50 solo shows.
For the Meguro Museum SHRIEK exhibition catalogue, Manfredi wrote of his work, DEATH OF THE WRITTEN WORD:
I use the paper, cut in tiny stripes, like a support for words. The words interlace in wefts and warps, transform in sea waves, in field furrows, in labyrinth-like passages and so on.
In the works the theme becomes death, death of the written word. As a homage to the type writer ribbon, at last to pass away, sucked from the inside of the container--book like a ³spagetto² by an avid mouth. Homage to Mishima in the form of a coffin for a text about him. Finally, fragments of words cling to the wreck of a book-ship.
A painter and musician, Fernando Andolcetti was born in 1936, in Lucca, Italy. He lives and works in La Spezia. Andolcetti's creative force comes from music. His work is music made visual. In the Meguro Museum SHRIEK exhibition catalogue, he explains of his work:
The musical sign and the musical world in general are the constants that characterize my work. Mostly, I enjoy musical writing, both old and modern, but I often use ironical puns. In the three works there is a game between the musical time and real time; between Schoen (beautiful),and berg (top), in the object-book dedicated to Schoenberg. The leaf pages are replaced by musical pages, and in this way become leaf-sounds.
Delio Gennai was born in 1948, in Pisa, Italy. He has received a degree at Pisa University in art history. His artistic inspiration came from his youth in the historical city, Pisa, which is filled with the marble decorations of religious art and architecture. Recently, Gennai found his interest in the organic world. For the Meguro Museum exhibition, he wrote of his work, THE HANDLING OF CHROMOSOMES:
This installation is the output of metamorphosis that recollects, by tuning their two work experiences. On one hand it goes back to the cytological technique of the graze when on the other it goes back to the cells on botanical ages gathered in the library from old botanical forms. The work has been performed by using white board and gauze, recollecting cytological wood and glass boxes.
Gennai has had over 30 solo shows in Europe since 1982.
Elisabetta Gut was born in 1934 in Rome, Italy. Gut taught and worked in scenographic direction, and costume design in the 1960's. Her work has been shown in over 300 international biennials, museums, and academic institutions worldwide.
Of one of her miniature stage-set works, MOON - BIKE (subtitled Poem Object) Gut explains:
A miniature bicycle model clicks this chain of thoughts:
All this in a dream-like atmosphere where truly microscopic books, unreadable,
seem to be floating, their texts eclipsed.
This is the first time Manfredi, Andolcetti, Gennai, and Gut have exhibited as a group in New York.
Medialia ... Rack and Hamper Gallery