From 25 February to 4 June 2017
There is always a story to be told - even about a small Italian province such as ours. And this was precisely what the young artist Lorenzo Mattotti set out to do during the early years of his artistic training here in Udine. Now, MATTOTTI: Primi lavori, a new exhibition showcasing his early works, will in turn recount the story of this initial phase in the artist’s development. The retrospective, which follows in the wake of the hugely popular Mattotti: Sconfini exhibition currently on show at Villa Manin until 19 March, will run from 25 February to 4 June 2017 at Casa Cavazzini – Museo di Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Udine. Initiated and curated by Giovanni Duri and co-curated by Vania Gransinigh, Conservator of Casa Cavazzini, the exhibition aims to provide an essential introduction to Lorenzo Mattotti’s work and offers fundamental insights into the works currently on display at Villa Manin.
The Udine exhibition provides a comprehensive overview of Mattotti’s initial production, offering insights into the painterly eye of a young illustrator excited by the opportunity to capture and describe the world around him (invariably with a dose of irony). As well as music concerts (he had a particularly keen interest in music) and other social events he attended, Mattotti also drew scenes depicting social marginalization and mental illness. For Mattotti, Udine, a small provincial town, was just as important as any big city, even here there were valuable experiences that would inform his personal and artistic development.
A young artist in search of his own style, Mattotti developed a fascination with situations and people on the margins of society, with vivid characters whose stories easily lent themselves to the comic-strip genre, to rapidly drawn vignettes aimed at capturing alternative, “non-conventional” realities. Despite spending his formative years in Udine, Mattotti’s eye and approach are those of a nomadic artist, an artist used to living in different places, to encountering and getting to know very different realities.
A pertinent example of Lorenzo Mattotti’s ‘nomadic eye’ is his first book, originally published under the title Alice Brum Brum in 1977, which is to be republished for the occasion of this new exhibition. Printed in limited edition, the republication of this early work will bear the original title La realtà è strabica (Reality is Cross-eyed) chosen at the time by the artist and his story writer, Jerry Kramsky and subsequently changed by the first publisher (Octavian Editore).
The cycle of works selected for the Udine show, which includes strips from Alice Brum Brum / La realtà è strabica, features both large and small illustrated sheets and is displayed in a particularly distinctive and intimate space within Casa Cavazzini, allowing the visitor to concentrate on the specific focus of the exhibition.
The exhibition, MATTOTTI. Primi lavori, was co-produced by Udine City Council and ERPAC (Regional Authority for Cultural and Artistic Heritage).