The series created for BABS is a collection that pays tribute to the whimsical and countercurrent playfulness of the artist from Biella: as in his long career he has never wanted to deny himself anything of the experimentation that crosses transversally the history of the art of the second Twentieth century, sounding with lucid irony the material perspectives of Arte Povera, those conceptual Fluxus, the instances of bright pop colorism of Warholian imprint and that experimental cinema that his friend Baj had defined “to fragmented emotion”, so in the jewel Nespolo plays with materials, shapes and colors maintaining the same disregard for the respect of the rules and the constant refusal of a dogmatic cage to the free to create: recurring themes of his research return, which draw inspiration from his colorful and eclectic works exhibited all over the world, as the theatrical enchantment of its assemblages, which add artifice to the artificial (so appear earrings inspired by the famous puzzles, rings depicting urban landscapes, bracelets-brush, solid to fit as a logical challenge…); even in the golden declination returns in short the essential idea that art is basically a playful exercise aimed at wonder and that therefore the role of the artist, also through a precious support as the jewel of the artist of which Nespolo provocatively “demolishes” the seriousness, is simply to let us return to play.
Ugo Nespolo was born in Mosso (Biella). Graduated in Modern Literature at the University of Turin and graduated from the Albertina Academy of Fine Arts in the same city. Versatile artist works in a wide field of disciplines, from painting to cinema, to sculpture. In the late Sixties he was part of the Schwarz Gallery in Milan that counted among its artists Duchamp, Picabia, Schwitters, Arman.
His first exhibition in Milan presented by Pierre Restany, entitled “Machines and Conditional Objects” – in a way – represents the climate and innovations of the group that Germano Celant will call Arte Povera.
In 1967 he pioneered Italian Experimental Cinema following a meeting with Jonas Mekas, P. Adams Sitney, Andy Warhol, Yoko Ono, in the wake of New American Cinema. In Paris Man Ray gives him a text for a film that Nespolo will make with the title “Revolving Doors”. Baj, Fontana, Pistoletto, Boetti and Merz are among the performers of his films screened and discussed in important museums including the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Tate Modern in London, the Venice Biennale.
One of the most important pataphysical authorities founded the Ticinese Pataphysical Institute with Baj. In the late sixties with Ben Vautier he started a series of Fluxus Concerts, including the first Italian concert entitled “Les Mots et les Choses”. Sure that the figure of the artist can not be that of an intellectual, studies and writes with assiduity of the facts and disciplines that have to do with aesthetics and the art system. On 29 January 2019, the University of Turin awarded him an Honorary Degree in Philosophy.
He has exhibited with great intensity in galleries and museums in Italy and in the world.
Photo credits Giovanni Gastel