Massimo Minini: Forty Years of Contemporary Art

Bonaspetti and Minini agreed that the criterion for the works’ selection on show would been simply: “The unsold”. A curious license that made the exhibition at the Triennale in Milan dedicated to Massimo Minini, a worthy culmination of one of the most brilliant careers in italian art market of the last century. Ad honorem of those activities and tireless passion, that with turmoil and rare curatorial consistency, efficiently coordinated the system of italian galleries in the last forty years, of which Massimo Minini is among the most a courageous protagonist. A market, which expectations would have never been satisfied without the mediation of such personalities.

Jean Fabre and Nedko Solakov, Triennale

Jan Fabre and Nedko Solakov, Massimo Minini: Forty Years of Contemporary Art 1973 – 2013, Triennale, Milano

“Forty Years of Contemporary Art 1973 – 2013″, more than an exhibition that presents works from the private collection of the gallerist andava its gallery, is a memorandum of relations, that follow one another demarcating an artistic flair just like newess for half century, inside and outside the Brescia-based gallery. To confirm it, there are the evidences of these relationships: catalogs, essays and correspondence. From “Pizzini-Senteces”, Minini’s memoirs, released by Mousse Publishing, a book that agglomerates tales, fables and slices of life and its various artists, telegrams, postcards and accompanying texts of works that bring to light confidences between artists and their Massimo. In the exhibition the usual tagline are replaced by reports, so-called Pizzini, rather than merely a gimmick, an unconventional way to communicate with the public born, according to Minini, because he didn’t want to take the measures.

Maurizio Donzelli, Triennale

Maurizio Donzelli, Massimo Minini: Forty Years of Contemporary Art 1973 – 2013, Triennale, Milano

As next to the flag of Boetti, where Minini recalls an encounter on the streets of Rome between him, Alighiero e Boetti, “because Alighiero it’s the revolutionary who destroys and Boetti the one who rebuilds”, it says finely quoting the famous click “Twins” of 1968. This episode remembers that Massimo Minini really knew artists, frequent visitor of their studies, and personally interested in their lives, an approach that distinguishes him from the fate of the classic dealer. An activity that since its inception has been distinguished by its way of being transversal. In the early 70,s when he was writing to the then nascent Flash Art, after a discussion with Giancarlo Politi, he lefts the editorial staff and embarks into the bold venture of opening a gallery in his native Brescia.

Sol LeWitt and Giulio Paolini, Triennale

Sol LeWitt and Giulio Paolini, Massimo Minini: Forty Years of Contemporary Art 1973 – 2013, Triennale, Milano

Minini, for generation and willpower, drawing on the unpublished aesthetic languages ​​of the time, has ridden the end of modernism, introjecting that spread of styles and artistic expressions born in the 60s at a conscious definition of contemporary art. Borderlessly stretching his research, he  adopted the contemporaneity that was manifesting in a young and alive art, yet to be discovered. With the Arte Povera by Stefano Arienti, Alighiero Boetti, Luciano Fabro, Giulio Paolini, Pino Pascali and Michelangelo Pistoletto to painters like Carla Accardi, George Clamps, Mario Nigro, Claudio Olivieri and Giulio Turcato, just to mention the artists in the exhibition. Then, the great masters of italian photography by Aurelio Amendola, Olivo Barbieri and Gabriele Basilico, who is nostalgically dedicated the entire show. And again, Mario Cresci, Mario Dondero, Louis Ghirri, Paolo Gioli, Gianfranco Gorgons, Mimmo Jodice, Nino Migliori, Ugo Mulas and Ferdinando Scianna.

Rayan Mendoza, Triennale

Rayan Mendoza, Massimo Minini: Forty Years of Contemporary Art 1973 – 2013, Triennale, Milano

And to answer what is contemporary art, what was it, and so’ what is now, as a fil rouge daughter Francesca Minini has continued his father’s business in Milan-based gallery in Ventura District, allowing the selection of Minini not run out of names of great artists of his time, proposing younger artists with works by Mathieu Mercier, David Majkovic, Francesco Simeti and Marisaldi and Mezzaqui. Once inside the large exhibition halls of the Triennale, we are greeted by a work that is a worthy backdrop to show’s generosity and its main character: “The years of the hour blue” by Jan Fabre, for which the artist has been inspired by a text of his grandfather, Jean-Henri Fabre, famous entomologist, according to whom blue is a dreamlike background to ‘animals of the night’. A huge 3×6 meter white sheet covered in blue ink, directly from the personal collection of Minini. To put it on Fabre has avail himself of his team, that embedded hundreds of ballpoint pens inside a large box. Together then, moving in a coordinated manner on the fabric, they ‘scrawled’ the entire surface. Boetti, once gained knowledge of this work, said to Minini “But in Italy we’ve already being doing this for years” and Fabre said: “Yes, but this is different: the execution is different”.

Daniel Buren, Triennale

Daniel Buren, Massimo Minini: Forty Years of Contemporary Art 1973 – 2013, Triennale, Milano

Paired, in a usual face-to-face, from the series “Giardino”, an installation by Maurizio Donzelli: a tapestry whose decorative patterns are replicated from the mirror placed on the floor, as if to reflect the texture’s expansion endlessly. According to Minini, the use of the mirror is nothing but the good old trick practiced by contemporary artists. We come then to a large wooden deck that reminds to a basketball court, a work of Oldenburg, chromatically interacts with the stylized drawings of female figures by Vanessa Beecroft and the site-specific work of Daniel Buren, wanted and directly installed on Aldo Muzzio’s  existing scale. Minini as well as the Triennale were confronted about his fate, claiming a legitimate reflection on the ephemeral value of art, asking Burren, who couldn’t help but answer: “It depends on how much they pay.” And Minini couldn’t help but being pleased.


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by Eleonora Salvi
in Focus on Europe

Wed Development by Digital Art Factory