Mimmo Paladino through Art and Literature
The exhibit - curated by Giorgio Bacci - explores alternative facets of Mimmo Paladino’s graphic production and illustrations that interpreted the great classics of literature, from Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy to Joyce’s Ulysses, from The Moon and the Bonfires by Pavese up to Cervantes’ Don Quixote. The Museo del Novecento puts together the most extensive solo exhibition devoted to Paladino’s literary and visual world and to the love for literature that has imbued his artistic path.
“An ‘illuminator monk’”, this is how, in this reference rich with historical implications, Mimmo Paladino describes himself, “an artist in search of an awe-inspiring image” in relation to his work of graphic interpretation driven by constant intellectual and technical experimentation. The exhibit includes the original tables produced for the Divine Comedy (Treccani, 2011) and The Moon and the Bonfires by Pavese (Papiro Art, 2010), as well as the mixed media works, such as the Tristes Tropiques (The Sad Tropics) (SuhrkampVerlag, 2008), the graffiti’s, and the echoes of Greek and Etruscan painting that we find in Aeschylus’ Agamemnon (Mazzoli, 2010). A selection of works that expresses the artist’s innermost passion underpinning his poetics, where the exploration of pristine lands melds with the literary reverberations of his favourite authors, like Joyce, Calvino, Borges, as well as Pavese, Lévi-Strauss, Dante, Cervantes. His profound reflection on the value of literature also, and necessarily, becomes an articulated meditation on pictorial gesture and on the artist’s true identity, thus playing on concepts such as the mask, the ‘double’, the shadow. These themes are underlined in Joyce’s Ulysses (Laboratorio d’Arte Grafica di Modena,1994) and in Cervantes’ Don Quixote (Editalia, 2006).
Photo: "Mimmo Paladino at work", Salvatore Licitra.