Alfredo Volpi, 'Flags and masts', 1970s.

According to a recent article by Artribune, exhibition by Alfredo Volpi, La Poetica del colore, set up in Villa Paloma, headquarters of the Museo Nazionale di Monaco, and which ends on May 20, curated by Cristiano Raimondi, stood out for revealing to Europeans its essential, precise and sensitive art.

At the end of 2017, the artist won his first individual at an American gallery and this year, at the traditional Sotheby's gallery in London. “The world begins to discover Volpi”, highlights Zivé Giudice, director of the Museum of Modern Art of Bahia (MAM-BA) where, currently, 33 works by the Italian-Brazilian artist are exhibited. The exhibition, which runs until July 1st of this year, is one of the fruits of the great effort that the museum's management has made alongside partners to circumvent the budget crisis.

The exhibition was only possible thanks to the collaboration of curators, gallerists and collectors who came together to work on a task force that supported the collection and transport of the works to Bahia. “There has been a flirtation between Volpi, Bahia and this museum since the 40s”, says Zivé, supporting his argument in the subsequent donation made of the work Houses, in the following decade, to the institution's collection. The initiative was taken by art critic Theon Spanudis and, for Ladi Biezus, who wrote the exhibition's critical text, the current show also fulfills the role of commemorating more than fifty years of the donation.

Zivé says he is pleased to host something worthy of the artist: “It is a retrospective that begins in the 40s, goes through the incursion of the figurative and then begins the emergence of geometric poetics”, he says. For him, the work of curator Sylvio Nery brings together “beautiful examples of paintings that represent very well each period of Volpi”.

Volpi's first artistic activity dates back to 1914, when he was only twelve years old. Despite this, painting only became part of his daily life in the 30s, based on his observations of landscapes and buildings in the neighborhood where he lived. At the end of that decade, he began to paint what, historically, would become his hallmark in art. Even being part of a generation that developed in a modernist moment, Volpi detached himself from the labels of artistic movements imposed by critics.

In Brazil, his works are spread across collections throughout the country. Marcelo Xavier, Roberto Oliva, Marcos Amaro and Leonardo Telles are some of the collectors who were willing to collaborate. In addition to them, it is necessary to highlight the dedication of the gallery owner Paulo Darzé and the São Paulo gallery Almeida e Dale throughout the process, acting as an intermediary between the museum and the collectors.

The participation of the Alfredo Volpi Institute, chaired by Pedro Mastrubuono, was also crucial for the exhibition to be held. “Success in the USA and Europe, but without ever forgetting the Brazilian public”, highlights Mastrobuono in a social network. According to Zivé, partnerships with these names become important as Brazilian art institutions have suffered from the crisis: “Culture always suffers from this, more than other subsectors of society”.

state of mind

At the Museum of Modern Art of Bahia, the exhibition by Afredo Volpi is part of a project called Biennial State. The measure is a way found by the institution's management to perform, in some way, the function that the Bienal da Bahia used to fulfill. After the closing of the II Bahia Biennial in 1968, due to the action of the military dictatorship based on the AI-5, the event only took place again 46 years later, in 2014. With no resources to continue it, there is still no prediction of when the fourth edition will take place. In this way, MAM-BA decided to integrate all the museum's projects under the Estado Bienal label. “We decided that everything that was produced by the museum or demanded from the museum was done within the perspective of this place where ideas and content were born”, points out Zivé.

For the next few months, MAM-BA foresees an exhibition that will bring together what Zivé calls the 70th Generation of Bahian art. For him, it is a spontaneous generation that “begins to build a place of current art” in the state. Names such as Bel Borba and Vauluizo Bezerra, from Sergipe living in Bahia, are being quoted.

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