The Kabakovs and the Avant-Gardes

18 September 2016–8 January 2017

Exhibition Overview

The Kabakovs and the Avant-Gardes continues along the path the Spazio -1 has set for itself, and comes right after the exhibition dedicated to Italian artist Giulio Paolini (September 2015) and the themed exhibition Sulla Croce (March 2016). This new project stems from a personal relationship that began to grow many years ago between the collectors Giancarlo and Danna Olgiati and the two artists, for whom three significant works were already represented in Spazio -1 in 2012. As always, this new exhibition will be accompanied by a new installation of the Collezione Olgiati including works hitherto unseen.

The exhibition relates seven works by the two great Russian artists with twenty-six paintings and drawings of the early-twentieth-century historical avant-gardes in the Collection: from Russian Cubo-Futurism to Suprematism and Constructivism, by way of Italian Futurism and Europea Abstraction, Spazio -1 offers a very special intellectual conversation. Visitors will be able to view five large-scale paintings, a sculpture, and an installation by Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, alongside some of the greatest names of the historical avant-gardes, including Russian artists Malevic, Kandinsky, and Rodchenko, Italian Futurist artists Balla, Boccioni, and Severini, and European Abstract artists Léger and Schwitters. The exhibition design conceived specially by Ilya Kabakov for Lugano is a remarkable tribute by the artist to art history, with which he dialogues relentlessly, and in particular to the Collezione Olgiati, with which he shares specific choices and comprehensive visions.

The Kabakovs’ works will be displayed all around the walls of Spazio -1, while the paintings of the historical avantgardes will be mounted on temporary walls placed diagonally in the central area of the exhibition space; these walls will form a grid occupied at the centre by a cross-like structure that is clearly a nod to Suprematism. Paintings that represent European Abstract Art’s finest output are thus englobed in an installation that is the work of one of the most famous names in contemporary art.

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