After the solo shows dedicated to the Swiss artist Hans Jörg Glattfelder, the French Noël Dolla and the German Winfred Gaul, Menhir Arte Contemporanea gallery continues its investigation of the European art history after the Second World War with the exhibition Joe Tilson. Works 1980-2000.
On the occasion of his 90thbirthday, celebrated in the last months by several European galleries, Menhir pays tribute to one of the protagonists of English Pop Art with a solo show curated by Alberto Rigoni, on view from the 11thof October until the 11thof December at the Milan venue, Via Giuriati 9. By selecting about 20 works of the most recent decades, the exhibition aims at conveying an overview of his production throughout the years 1980-2000, highlighting some of the most recurring topics of his artistic research.
Once he was over the Pop Art phase, the seductive charm of “Mediterranean classicism” played a crucial role in the elaboration of his expressive language and it brought him to spend more time in Italy, between Venice, Sicily and Tuscany. The warm colours and deep shades of his works originate undeniably from those of the lands he visited and loved during some travels he made also with his family, establishing a personal and contingent dimension, at the same time universal and archetypal, with the integration of the main features characterising the most recent works by Tilson.
The ancient Greek inscriptions, the recurrent dedications to Dionysus and the the four main elements of nature – Earth, Air, Water and Fire: from the cycles Lyknon, Proscinèmi, Signatures, Conjunctions, Crete di Siena, the final result is a wise layering of classic and modern elements. Moreover, the exhibited works want to emphasise the heterogeneous and symbolic role of materials used by the artist in his research: canvas and paper, ceramics and wood, often created in multiples, to echo that seriality constituting a peculiar feature of Pop Art. As a matter of fact, Tilson made a large contribution to the English front of the movement.
Through this solo show, Menhir gallery (having collaborated several times in the past with Tilson) wants to present an investigation of the expressive complexity of an artist who has been centre stage in the European artistic scene for more than 50 years.
The exhibition is further enriched by a bilingual catalogue, with a critical text by Alberto Rigoni.