Markus Lüpertz

Fonti del Clitunno

The ancient Umbrians personified and deified the Clitunno river, which rises just outside Spoleto in a small pool protected by willows. This was a sacred site, sung about by Propertius and Claudiano, by Virgil and Byron. Markus Lüpertz evidently aspires to join the ranks of these poets, for he has dedicated ten of his bronze sculptures to the god. The pieces date from the last five years. Only one, Clitunno, 1990, was made specifically for this exhibition, in which they stand outdoors, on tall pedestals, near the river’s source.

The tone of the show, then, is emphatic, rhetorical, perhaps even pretentious—intentionally “heroic.” This is precisely why the inclusion of two enormous, ugly sculptures, both entitled Die Hässliche erschreckt die Schöne (The ugly frightens the beautiful, 1988–89), ends up seeming completely wrong: they break up the thematic and conceptual unity of the exhibition,

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