The Zaha Hadid-designed MAXXI museum in Rome presents one of the largest solo exhibitions to date of influential Italian contemporary artist Maurizio Nannucci. Curated by Bartolomeo Pietromarchi, the exhibition ‘Where to Start From’ presents 30 artworks spanning Nannucci’s entire career, including two new works created just for the event: the sound installation Sound Samples (created in collaboration with Simone Conforti) and More Than Meets the Eye, a large-scale neon work for MAXXI’s facade which will eventually join the museum collection.
Using a non-chronological layout that creates a dialogue between historic and newer pieces, the exhibition showcases the richness and diversity of Nannucci’s work, as it features not only the large neon pieces that the artist is so famous for but also photography, audio works and publications edited by Nannucci through his prolific work as art book publisher and editor of art magazine Mèla.
A conceptual artist at heart, Nannucci is constantly seeking a certain purity in his work that aims to unsheathe the work of art from its aesthetic shell and expose its experiential essence as immediately and viscerally as possible.
In his own words, Nannucci believes that, through his treatment of text and colour in architectural spaces, ‘‘the image transcends the limits of the representation, becoming a mental image, a virtual one, an image born from a dream or a dream with eyes wide open, a visualised and relative image, which can be evoked by a single word, a sound, or a scent.” That is mainly the reason behind why neon lights play such a big part in Nannucci’s work: although pure and bare, they allow for connections to happen with – as well as activate – other systems such as language and the perception of space. As the artist himself admits: ‘‘neon allows me to shape and reshape space into sensations and concepts that come very close to the degree zero of representation, while opening up new perspectives and horizons of perception and interaction with the reality.’’
‘Maurizio Nannucci: Where to Start From’ at MAXXI – Museo Nazionale delle Arti del XXI Secolo in Rome, Italy, will be on display through October 18th 2015. Exhibition catalogue available from Mousse Edizioni.
Design: Maurizio Nannucci
Photography: Musacchio & Ianniello / Moreno Maggi / Pietro Savorelli / Roman Mensing / Cesare Dagliana / Carlo Cantini / Martino Buzzi / Simone Gänsheimer