Articles with tag:


(1 results)

Not nostalgic. The Italian Transavantgarde

More than 30 years after its early stirrings, the Transavantgarde is the elephant on the Italian art scene. There is a paradox here. The Italian movement, represented by Sandro Chia, Enzo Cucchi, Francesco Clemente, Nicola De Maria and Mimmo Paladino, was highly influential. The ‘brand’ was a huge success internationally in the 1980s, when pieces were snapped up by museums on the spot, and the five artists became an instant phenomenon (which has not yet been historically contextualized). And yet, the critical debate over the last twenty years has marginalized them. The movement has become a background feature, like faded, unfashionable wallpaper, an easy target for criticism. Nicolas Bourriaud, in a 2002 essay, claimed that the Transavantgarde exploit – epitomized, in his view, by Enzo Cucchi’s paintings and, slightly incongruously, by Julian Schnabel’s work – brought back the idea of eclectic, extreme authorship. The movement, Bourriaud argued, represented the triumph of cynicism where “ the history of art becomes a giant landfill piled high with empty forms, their meaning severed from them.” The group was engaged in “a far-reaching endeavor to reify”[1] forms which were then...