May 12 – June 21, 2009
Open daily, 10am – 8pm. Free entrance.
Fondazione Nicola Trussardi
at Palazzo Dugnani
Via Daniele Manin 2, Milan – Italy
Still Life, 2009
Commissioned and produced by Fondazione Nicola Trussardi, Milan
Courtesy the artist and Fondazione Nicola Trussardi, Milan
FONDAZIONE NICOLA TRUSSARDI presents STILL LIFE, a solo exhibition by Tacita Dean
Curated by: Massimiliano Gioni, Artistic Director, Fondazione Nicola Trussardi
Fondazione Nicola Trussardi is proud to present STILL LIFE, Tacita Dean’s first major solo exhibition in Italy, in Palazzo Dugnani, an historic building in the centre of Milan opened in collaboration with the City of Milan’s Department of Culture. The exhibition will present fourteen films, including two commissioned and produced by Fondazione Nicola Trussardi.
Tacita Dean’s films are monuments to the country of last things, revelations shot and reproduced rigorously in analogue form. With her slow contemplative films, Dean transforms atmospheric phenomena, pastoral landscapes and abandoned places into sublime panoramas and cinematic frescoes. For the exhibition with Fondazione Nicola Trussardi, Dean has chosen to show only film, making a circular journey through the rooms of the palazzo, moving from works related to portraiture to those about natural phenomena, landscape and the sea, and then into a recent group that reference still life.
With help from the Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna, Dean was invited to visit the studio of the painter, Giorgio Morandi, recently reinstalled in the apartment in Bologna where he lived and worked for fifty years. Still Life (2009), a film in black and white, focuses on the meticulous markings and measurements found on the paper Morandi placed underneath his objects. Day for Night (2009) looks at the objects themselves. Unable to touch or move them, Dean filmed them singly, making random groupings in contrast to Morandi’s studied and mathematically rigorous compositions.
In 2002, Tacita Dean made what became the first in a series of portrait films, Mario Merz (2002) – an intimate moment with the master of Arte Povera, to be shown for the first time in Milan, the city of his birth. Her recent six film installation on the great American dancer and choreographer: Merce Cunningham Performs STILLNESS… (2008) will have its European premiere in this exhibition. Also included will be four of her works about nature – romantic vistas that harbour unexpected surprises, like the cloudy solar eclipse on a dairy farm in Banewl (1999) and the accident that produced a work in Diamond Ring (2002); the single frame capturing the refracted green of the last ray of sun as it passes over the horizon in The Green Ray (2001), to the difficult crossing of The English Channel on a stormy day in Amadeus (2008). With the same attentiveness, the British artist films seemingly insignificant objects, like the pieces of fruit cultivated inside bottles for schnapps: a praise of slowness, Prisoner Pair (2008) is a microscopic analysis of time in detail and detail in time.
Palazzo Dugnani was built as a patrician house in the 17th century and contains a magnificent fresco by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. In this extraordinary setting—which once housed Milan’s natural history museum and later became the first school in Italy that taught art history, but which has since fallen into disrepair —Tacita Dean’s exhibition will reveal the building’s majestic architecture and private rooms in a new way. Reopened by the City of Milan’s Department of Culture in collaboration and with the support of Fondazione Nicola Trussardi, Palazzo Dugnani is being used for the first time as a venue for a contemporary art exhibition—an event that celebrates a new synergy between the City of Milan’s Department of Culture and Fondazione Nicola Trussardi, both committed to making historical buildings accessible to wider audiences.
With STILL LIFE, Fondazione Nicola Trussardi continues to produce works by today’s most interesting artists for the forgotten monuments of the City of Milan. Since 2003 the Fondazione Nicola Trussardi has organized exhibitions with, among others: Michael Elmgreen & Ingar Dragset, Darren Almond, Maurizio Cattelan, John Bock, Urs Fischer, Anri Sala, Paola Pivi, Martin Creed, Pawel Althamer, Peter Fischli & David Weiss, and Tino Sehgal.
STILL LIFE by Tacita Dean is a project by Fondazione Nicola Trussardi organized in collaboration with the City of Milan’s Department of Culture and under the patronage of Region Lombardia and the Province of Milan. Thanks to MAMbo – Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna.