Distributed October 17, 2002
For Immediate Release

News Service Contact: Mary Jo Curtis

Toward Uncertainty

Bell Gallery to present work of award-winning Italian artists

The David Winton Bell Gallery will present works by two masters of modern Italian art, along with the prize-winning work of five emerging Italian artists, in the exhibition Toward Uncertainty, opening Nov. 9 and continuing through Dec. 29, 2002. An opening reception for the artists is scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8, 2002.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The David Winton Bell Gallery will present works by some of Italy’s best established and emerging artists in a new group exhibition titled Toward Uncertainty, opening Nov. 9 and continuing through Dec. 29, 2002, in the List Art Center.

Toward Uncertainty will feature two masters of modern Italian art, Alighiero e Boetti and Michelangelo Pistoletto, along with five younger Italian artists – Elisabetta Di Maggio, Lara Favaretto, Ottonella Mocellin, Adrian Paci and Sabrina Torelli, all finalists for the Querini-FURLA prize.


Lara Favaretto: “The Upside-Down World,” 2001-02. Color photograph 70 x 94 1/2 inches. Courtesy of Galleria Franco Noero, Turin
An opening reception, scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 8, will include a gallery talk by the participating artists and curators. The exhibition has been organized through the combined efforts of Chiara Bertola, a curator from Fondazione Querini-Stampalia in Venice and the organizer of the Premio Querini Stampalia-FURLA per l’arte prize, and Jo-Ann Conklin and Vesela Sretenovic of the Bell Gallery.

The Querini-FURLA prize was established three years ago as a vehicle in which to present an annual survey of art by young Italians. Each year a panel of 10 critics and curators nominates 50 artists, of whom five are selected as finalists. The work of the finalists is shown at the Fondazione Querini Stampalia, and the prize is then awarded to one artist selected by a second international jury.

“The artists included in Toward Uncertainty are all nominees for the Querini-FURLA prize,” said Conklin, the director of the Bell Gallery. “To put their art in an historical context, the exhibition also includes a selection of work by two major figures of Italian art – Alighiero e Boetti and Michelangelo Pistoleto – who have been highly influential on younger generations.”


Adrian Paci: “Back to Home,” 1999. Color photograph, 41 x 47 1/2 inches. Courtesy of Galleria Francesca Kaufmann, Milan
“The exhibition title refers to the phrase ‘leaving certainty for uncertainty,’ from one of Boetti’s embroideries,” Bertola said.

“It also evokes the tradition and exploratory spirit of Arte Povera, an Italian art movement of the late 1960s that emphasized process and unconventional or ‘poor’ materials. It aimed to go beyond theory and conventions in art, asserting creative imagination and the importance of uncertainty as its running force,” Sretenovic added. “Although their works follow the tradition of Arte Povera and Pistoletto and Boetti, these young artists engage different mediums, ranging from painting and sculpture to photography and video, bringing to light their personal visions.”

The Querini-FURLA artists are:

  • Elisabetta Di Maggio. Born in Milan in 1964 and a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts of Venice, Di Maggio focuses on the relationship between space and time. She will exhibit her installation “Time Past Over,” an autobiographical work the curators describe as one that “passes through the making of the artist's existence, as though an entry in a diary.”
  • Lara Favaretto. Born in Treviso, Italy, in 1973, Favaretto studied at Academia di Belle Arti di Brera, Milan, and Fondazione Antonio Ratti, Como. She works in photography, video and performance. Her exhibited work will include “The Upside-Down World, a large photograph representing a group of men trying to raise a donkey.
  • Ottonela Mocellin. Born in Milan in 1966 and a graduate of London’s Chelsea School of Art, Mocellin has most recently concentrated on the development of storytelling forms and video installation. Her videos are a montage of images correlated with a text recited by the artist’s off-screen voice. She will exhibit “Let me be your eyes and enter your darkness so you won’t be afraid,” an exploration of the obscure zone of identity.
  • Adrian Paci. Born in Shkoder, Albania, in 1969 and now a resident of Milan, Paci uses the various techniques of painting, sculpture, photography, video and installation to explore memory and dislocation as they redefine the identity of people subjected to social and political migration. This is evident in “Back to Home,” his series of photographs of immigrant families.
  • Sabrina Torelli. Born in Reggio Emilia in 1966, Torelli graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna. Her work, which springs from her investigation of the private, personal, social and cultural motivations in contemporary society, demonstrates her interest in performance and the interaction between the body and the environment. The exhibition features her video, “Collapses.”

The exhibition will also feature Pistoletto’s 1960s mirror paintings and Boetti’s 1980s ballpoint drawings, which demonstrate their affiliation with Arte Povera. Pistoletto began painting on mirrors as a way of connecting an art object with a commonplace situation. He turned away from conventional ideas and techniques of art, replaced the canvas with mirror, and began portraying people and objects with life-size photographic likenesses. Boetti began drawing in the early 1970s, using simple networks of horizontal and vertical lines enclosed in a grid format. Composed of ballpoint pen markings in blue, black, red and green, his labor-intensive works evoke the idea and process of writing, allowing for elusive meanings to emerge.

Support for the exhibition and its 32-page catalogue was provided by Giovanna Furlanetto, president of FURLA, by Brown’s Creative Arts Council and by Alitalia. The exhibition and artists’ reception are free and open to the public. The Bell Gallery, located in List Art Center at 64 College St., is open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For further information, call (401) 863-2932.