Still, Still Life

Still life in the CAMeC collections
02/02/2021 - 10/10/2021

This novel selection of the works from the permanent collections addresses a key theme in art history, still life. In the contemporary age, still life or posed nature has renewed itself in multiple, discordant keys of interpretation of the physical and metaphysical dialogue between art and object.

The exhibition proposes a wide-reaching re-investigation of the theme through very different examples taken from all the CAMeC’s various collections, examining the biographical, conceptual, instrumental, poetic and magical bonds between human beings and objects which have always been and will probably always be the subject of artistic research.

The exhibition project envisages the placing together of works which interact and demonstrate the persistence of the genre in the affinity or the distance of their formal language. Within the common reference to the traditional theme, the visitor meets and is stimulated to compare identical ‘words’ in different compositions, journeying through some of the most important movements of the second half of the 20th century. The leitmotif is in fact the continuation of the genre into the contemporary age via even very distant interpretations, ranging from the intimism of the still lives of de Pisis, Slabbink and Tosi, post-Cubist updating (Basso, Santomaso), Morandi’s 1961 paradigm, the abstract option which is still mindful of the theme (Montarsolo, Spinosa), virtuous and poetic verisimilitude, to pop and nouveau-réaliste debunking (Pozzati, Wesselman, Spoerri, Tadini); as well as numerous other interpretations, also including the use of chalcography, often a refined medium for this type of investigation.

The exhibition project also includes various works which are not strictly connected with the genre but are assimilated into it via the conceptual basis of the exhibition. These are representations founded on the pre-eminence of the object, selected for their symbolic resonance, as well as for the consonance and dialogue generated by their studied positioning alongside other works (e.g. works by Boetti, Kounellis, Oldenburg, Spoerri, Warhol).

Focus on Still Life
As a continuation of the project for the synergic enhancement of the museum heritage of La Spezia, we come across a sylloge of objects from the “Giovanni Podenzana Ethnographic Civic Museum” and of some private loans, which trace the history of the genre and compose a kind of “glossary” of the still life genre by bringing together the elements which have come to distinguish its iconography over the years (the mirror, the candle, the book, the musical instrument, the hour-glass and many others). Moreover, the exhibition itinerary documents the important themes connected with the genre: vanitas, the five senses, and the four elements of nature, revealing its complex, cryptic symbolism.

Exhibition promoted by
Municipality of La Spezia

Mayor and Councillor for Culture, Pierluigi Peracchini

General manager of Cultural services, Massimiliano Curletto

and produced by
CAMeC Centre of Modern and Contemporary Art

with the contribution of
Coop Liguria

exhibition curated by: Eleonora Acerbi and Cinzia Compalati in collaboration with Cristiana Maucci and Cinzia Compalati

Focus on Still Life curated by: Cristiana Maucci in collaboration with Anna Nancy Rozzi

exhibition graphic design: Publisystem, La Spezia 

installation: Davide Bommino, Coop Zoe

translations: Susan Charlton

press office Municipality of La Spezia: Luca Della Torre | Tel. +39 0187 727324 |

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