Mario Dellavedova

Mazzoli Gallery - Modena

It may seem paradoxical, but many professional artists now want to be amateurs, dilettantes. There are numerous reasons for this, many of which can apply simultaneously to the same artist. For example, a certain kind of reverse snobbery may be involved, but also a genuine awareness of the dangers of hyperprofessionalism to which artists often fall prey and a consequent desire to sidestep the “obligations” of the profession. And the very etymology of the word “dilettante” bespeaks artists’ desire to “take delight” in what they are doing—experiencing neither agony nor ecstasy but something more bourgeois, more intimate, like the feeling conveyed by a small, old canvas painted by an aunt during a lakeside vacation.

Mario Dellavedova, a forty-four-year old artist who divides his time between Milan and Taxco, Mexico, understands all this. His recent exhibition seemed to be trying to spell it

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