Mario Schifano “The Cult Of Television Images (TV Works From The 70s)”

Nathalie Karg

poster for Mario Schifano “The Cult Of Television Images (TV Works From The 70s)”
[Image: Mario Schifano "Untitled, Omaggio a Picasso" (1977) photographic emulsion and enamel on canvas, 32 x 43 3/4 in.]

This event has ended.

Nathalie Karg Gallery presents an exhibition of Mario Schifano’s Paesaggi TV’ (TV Landscapes) curated by Jennifer Bacon and Filippo Fossati. With his TV Landscapes, Mario Schifano created a cosmogony, a visual theory on painting that conveys his perception of our world and his instructions on how to make sense of it. In a world already complete, whole, making its own sense, he believed that the artist’s intervention was necessary for another reality to be revealed. He rebelled against the tendency of every society to create categories, systems, habits, rules and codes that often revolve around abstract aspects of human life that he felt can’t be simply categorized, organized, bureaucratized or institutionalized. Schifano disliked the idea of the “absolute order of things”. He feared that with the world being complete, full of numerable and contiguous material and in need of nothing, a painter in the early 70s could invent little. He viewed “conceptual artists” as merely making inventories, lists and catalogues.

Schifano responded with the Paesaggi TV, (TV Landscapes) in which he transferred television pictures onto canvas using the technique of photographic emulsion. At the beginning, he used photographs he took in the United States and later a myriad of images endlessly broadcasted on television stations everywhere. From the Vietnam war to The Great Masters of Art History television series to late night porn, the images were carefully selected, photographed and printed on canvas or on paper according to the series they belonged to (i.e., the Homages, featuring artists like Picasso, Cézanne and De Chirico, or the TV Landscapes). Subsequently Schifano created a closed-loop TV studio by connecting a video camera directly onto the TV screens which allowed him to record and broadcast at the same time. Each work from the broad TV series was then painted in psychedelic colors and set in a box made of plexiglass. The subjects were stopped in time, the fast and synthetic brushstrokes sometimes limited to a few drops of color. The result was a black canvas emitting a spark of actual television transmission, a hybrid of painting, photography, sculpture and television. The frame not only served the purpose of magnifying a detail of the world but represented his obsession, his desire for a place to belong too, his love for all means of physical and mental travels, for painting, for the moving image, for television. The screened image is not simply an accommodation, the representation of a box or a mere object, but a personal eye eager to travel, urging a departure, pulling viewers into the experience of a real poetic of exploration into known territories.

The exhibition is made in collaboration with the Archivio Mario Schifano.



from November 06, 2019 to December 15, 2019

Opening Reception on 2019-11-06 from 18:00 to 20:00

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