Mazzoleni is proud to present a double project with American conceptual artist Joseph Kosuth (b. 1945), opening in October at its exhibition space in Piazza Solferino. Colour in Contextual Play. An installation by Joseph Kosuth, curated by Cornelia Lauf, exhibited last Spring in the London premises of the gallery to international acclaim, includes works by Enrico Castellani (b. 1930), Lucio Fontana (1899–1968), Yves Klein (1928–1963), Piero Manzoni (1933– 1963), and Kosuth himself. This project, installed in the historic piano nobile rooms of Mazzoleni Turin, runs concurrently with a new exhibition, Neon in Contextual Play: Joseph Kosuth and Arte Povera devised especially for Mazzoleni Turin and installed in the ground floor space, focused on the use of Neon in the work of Joseph Kosuth and selected Arte Povera artists, like Mario Merz (1925-2003), Pier Paolo Calzolari (b. 1943) and Emilio Prini (1943-2016).
Colour in Contextual Play juxtaposes monochrome works by Castellani, Fontana, Klein and Manzoni with works from Kosuth’s 1968 series ‘Art as Idea as Idea’. This series made a conceptual investigation into the relationship between words, ideas and objects. It comprised photographs of dictionary definitions of words including ‘meaning’ and ‘idea’. For Colour in Contextual Play Kosuth creates a site-specific installation that places the examples ‘white’, ‘black’, ‘grey’, ‘red’, ‘green’, ‘yellow’ and ‘violet’ in company with works by the other artists utilising those colours. Colour, or its absence, is a theoretical as well as aesthetic consideration in all the works on display. The artists share an uncompromising analysis of conceptual structures that interrogate the nature of space, colour, form and time.
The parallel exhibition Neon in Contextual Play is devised by Joseph Kosuth especially for the Mazzoleni Turin space. Turin is particularly important for Kosuth for being the location of his first solo exhibition in Italy, “15 Locations 1969/70 Art as Idea as Idea 1966 – 1970”, in 1970. Moreover, as Arte Povera was arguably one of Turin’s major contributions to art history, with many of the artists within the group calling it home, it seemed a fitting schema for Kosuth to create a second project with his neon works alongside those by Arte Povera artists who also used the industrial material from the late 1960s.
The two exhibitions together examine thoroughly the connections created from the dissemination of words, objects, colour and light that engender new perspectives of perception and interaction between language and reality.