Mo (nu) mentum. Robert Morris shows at the National Gallery
About 40 years after the first personal exhibition of Robert Morris held in 1980, curated by Ida Panicelli and dedicated to minimal sculpture, the National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art celebrates a fundamental artist for the history of contemporary art, master of the American Minimalism of which he was one of the founders, of the Process Art and of the Land Art, to mention only some great currents that represented stages of an incredibly prolific and multidirectional research lasting about sixty years.
Mo (nu) mentum. Robert Morris 2015 – 2018 curated by Saretto Cincinelli is the first exhibition that is dedicated to the artist after his death, which took place in November 2018, and exhibits a series of works created by Morris in the last years of his activity and never exhibited before in Europe. They are sculptures that recall human figures belonging to the two MOLTINGSEXOSKELETONSSHROUDS series, made of Belgian canvas wet in a particular resin and affixed to models to obtain its shape, and Boustrophedons, in carbon fiber, exhibited respectively in 2015 and 2017 at the Castelli Gallery in New York. The unprecedented spatial relationship between the two nuclei exhibited on this occasion at the National Gallery stems from a project agreed with Morris himself before his death.
Morris’ recent sculptural groups testify to the growing interest of the artist for the human figure and for the work of the masters of the past, also marking a turning point in his formal vocabulary which seems to be definitively freed from the sense of order and abstraction typical of a part of the American avant-garde to move towards more markedly baroque and allegorical elements. In this exhibition, in addition to the references to Donatello, those to Rodin, to the late drawings by Francisco Goya, to the weeping statues of the Gothic sculptor Carl Sluter, are also explicit.
Using materials associated with painting, such as Belgian linen and paint, to form shrouds of sculptural figures, Morris creates considerable tensions: between the apparent presence of the figures and their absence, between the idea of sculpture as an eminently spatial art and that of groups of figures interacting with each other which reveals an almost pictorial treatment and, finally, between the spectator and his perception of each single scene.
The exhibition is organized in collaboration with the Castelli Gallery in New York and will be at the National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art from 15 October 2019 to 26 January 2020.
Location: Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Viale delle Belle Arti, 131, Rome
Date: October 15, 2019 – January 26, 2020
Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Viale delle Belle Arti, 131, Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, ItalyPrice