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Paolo Cotani

September 07September 25, 2021

HE WANTED TO TURN THE SKY UPSIDE DOWN. Homage to Paolo Cotani

Press release

2021 marks the 10th anniversary of the death of the artist Paolo Cotani. This September, the Paolo Cotani Association has invited each of the three galleries that have served as a reference point for Cotani’s work to remember him with a comprehensive exhibition.

The Paolo Cotani Association, which is committed to cataloguing and promoting the artist’s work, is delighted to announce HE WANTED TO TURN THE SKY UPSIDE DOWN, an exhibition that takes place from 7 to 25 September, simultaneously in four cities: Berlin and Rome at Galerie Rolando Anselmi; Lugano at Primo Marella Gallery; and Turin at Mazzoleni.

The exhibition is structured as a tribute by the three galleries via four anthological exhibitions that together display an overview of Cotani’s practice from the mid-1970s, with works linked to the Pittura Analitica movement, to later productions from the first decade of the 2000s.

HE WANTED TO TURN THE SKY UPSIDE DOWN. Homage to Paolo Cotani, installation view, Mazzoleni Turin
HE WANTED TO TURN THE SKY UPSIDE DOWN. Homage to Paolo Cotani, installation view, Mazzoleni Turin

“More and more frequently we have asked ourselves the question whether painting still makes sense, or rather whether the scope of the message still guarantees that degree of incidence which legitimises its historicity. […] I believe it is correct to try to understand the category in which pictorial research moves […] in order to attempt to rediscover in its specificity an operative and creative capacity within the multiplicity of linguistic universes. And if language is an autonomous universe, it is only within the multiplicity of its laws and contradictions that it is valid: painting is planning and planning is a way of intervening in reality”.

Paolo Cotani, Scritti

Paolo Cotani

Passaggi, 1976

Signed, dated and inscribed (on the reverse)
Acrylic on canvas
60 x 60 cm
23 5/8 x 23 5/8 in

In his working process, there is an aspect of concealment in the overlapping of the layers of paint, for example in the Passaggi or in the segments of torn maps in Cartografie. This aspect seems even more explicit in the overlapping of the Bende, where the surface of the painting is created by the repetition of the gesture of wrapping bandages around the frame.

 

Daniela Ferraria

The Bende Elastiche were “gauzes” painted to be later placed on the frame: the artist “wrapped” the frame with these gauzes, at one and the same time hiding it and making the canvas visible, giving it form, sign and colour. On completing the wrapping of the frame the gauzes were painted again.

Paolo Cotani

Bende, 1976

Signed and dated (on the reverse)
Bandages and acrylic on canvas
60 x 60 cm
23 5/8 x 23 5/8 in

Paolo Cotani

Bende, 1975

Signed and dated (on the reverse)
Bandages and acrylic on canvas
100 x 100 cm
39 3/8 x 39 3/8 in

Paolo Cotani

Benda, 1975

Signed and dated (on the reverse)
Bandages and acrylic on canvas
140 x 140 cm
55 1/8 x 55 1/8 in

Paolo Cotani

Bende elastiche (K30b), 1975

Signed and dated (on the reverse)
Bandages and acrylic on canvas
60 x 180 cm
23 5/8 x 70 7/8 in

In the work of Fili Battuti, the thread is no longer there, but it has left a trace of clear marks on the painted canvas, an imprint that indicates an absence.
There is a close relationship between the artist and the canvas, his work has a very physical component, with the gesture measured by the extension of the arm, the element of time marked by repetition.

Daniela Ferraria
HE WANTED TO TURN THE SKY UPSIDE DOWN. Homage to Paolo Cotani, installation view, Mazzoleni Turin
HE WANTED TO TURN THE SKY UPSIDE DOWN. Homage to Paolo Cotani, installation view, Mazzoleni Turin

Paolo Cotani

COT049, 2009

Signed and dated (on the reverse)
Oil on canvas
60 x 60 cm
23 5/8 x 23 5/8 in

Paolo Cotani

Fili battuti, 2009

Signed and dated (on the reverse)
Pigments and acrylic on canvas
150 x 200 cm
59 1/8 x 78 3/4 in
HE WANTED TO TURN THE SKY UPSIDE DOWN. Homage to Paolo Cotani, installation view, Mazzoleni Turin
HE WANTED TO TURN THE SKY UPSIDE DOWN. Homage to Paolo Cotani, installation view, Mazzoleni Turin

Paolo Cotani

Cera, Cera

Acrylic and melted wax on canvas
180 x 150 cm
70 7/8 x 59 1/8 in

Paolo Cotani

Untitled, 2004

Oil on canvas
200 x 100 cm
78 3/4 x 39 3/8 in
HE WANTED TO TURN THE SKY UPSIDE DOWN. Homage to Paolo Cotani, installation view, Mazzoleni Turin
HE WANTED TO TURN THE SKY UPSIDE DOWN. Homage to Paolo Cotani, installation view, Mazzoleni Turin

Paolo Cotani

Tensione, 2007

Belts and stainless steel
220 x 61 x 4 cm
86 5/8 x 24 1/8 x 1 5/8 in

Paolo Cotani

Torsione, 2007

Acrylic on canvas, rope and steel
200 x 121 x 4 cm
78 3/4 x 47 5/8 x 1 5/8 in

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Press release