MIMMO ROTELLA Retrospective

mimmo-rotella-detalle
mimmo-rotella-detalle

Mimmo Rotella was perhaps the very first street artist. His art is shown and exhibited around the world, but in 1951 Rotella (born in Catanzaro, Calabria, 1918; died in Milan 2006) was one of the first to turn the language of art upside down by using materials from the urban environment, particularly advertising posters, which he collected then changed by lacerating them. Mimmo Rotella is thoroughly avant-­‐garde. In 1949, while he was searching for new forms of self-­‐expression, he even invented a phonetic poetry made up of sounds and words without any sense, for which he coined the term “épistaltique language." He spent time as an artist in residence in the United States, where he met Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly, Pollock and Kline. He was later to meet de Kooning and Rothko in Rome in 1960. But in 1953 he underwent a crisis during which he stopped painting, saying that “everything in art has already been done." It was in 1954 that he had what he called a “Zen illumination." He discovered the advertising poster as a means of expression and invented the tearing method that he was to use for the rest of his life. By carrying out what he called “double décollage” – first detaching the poster from the wall, then tearing it in his studio. A retrospective of Mimmo Rotella will be on view at the Tornabuoni Art Gallery in Paris from March 30 to June 9, 2012