venice

“Italics”

Palazzo Grassi

Curator Francesco Bonami has positioned “Italics: Italian Art Between Tradition and Revolution 1968–2008,” as a sequel to “The Italian Metamorphosis,” the survey of postwar Italian visual culture that Germano Celant presented at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York in 1995. The Guggenheim show had presented masters from Piero Manzoni to Mario Schifano to the principals of Arte Povera, and in a certain sense it was a history of the victors. “Italics,” organized with the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago (where the exhibition will travel in the fall of 2009), takes into consideration so-called secondary figures as well as the big names. And so we have not only Lucio Fontana but also Agostino Bonalumi, Dadamaino, and Maria Lai; not only Arte Povera but also Luca Patella, Paolo Icaro, and—to my mind the most debatable inclusion—Salvatore Emblema; not only the Transavanguardia but

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