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Exhibitions 2011

May 7th–August 7th, 2011

Francesco Lo Savio – Tano Festa.
The Lack of the Other




ZKM | Museum of Contemporary Art
Opening: Fri. May 6th, 2011, 5 p.m.

Information auf Deutsch
www.zkm.de/losaviofesta

While their significance for the art world is uncontested, they nevertheless fell into obscurity: the brothers Francesco Lo Savio and Tano Festa.

By mid 1960 they were among the innovators of a new generation of artists. Once artistic expression had been taken to a new zenith by Jackson Pollock, they went on to formulate a concept of art as a concrete and autonomous activity. Prior to the emergence of Minimal Art, they confronted the creative gesture of the artist with the principles of industrial production.

The exhibition Francesco Lo Savio – Tano Festa. The Lack of the Other shows paintings and objects, which, while appearing to fundamentally differ in their aesthetic effect, nevertheless reveals – in a passionate sense –astonishing parallels in their basic artistic conception.

To date, Francesco Lo Savio_s (1935-1963) initial steps as an artist have been scarcely researched. His work during the last five years of his life, for example, displays immense compression and intensity. Clearly evident in his work is a striving for objectivity, for precision and transparency: his goal was the depersonalization of the author and the object of creation.
Less attention had been paid to the younger of the two brothers, Tano Festa (1938–1988), although he was invited to the Venice Biennale and to the documenta in Kassel. Tano Festa has been wrongly considered a key figure in European Pop Art, which he himself rejected when remarking "if, as in Italy, Michelangelo may be seen as Pop, just like Coca-Cola in America, then it is also all right to talk of European Pop Art."

Until the death of Lo Savio in 1963, the brothers would exhibit their works together, among others at the Galerie Rottloff in Karlsruhe, in 1961. Tano Festa died 25 years later. Throughout his entire career as artist, he would thematize the absence of his brother – "The Lack of the Other" in what, for him, were typically irregular intervals.

In the present exhibition, curators Freddy Paul Grunert and Peter Weibel focus on the work the two brothers completed between the end of the 1950s and early 1960s – a period of acutely intense reflection, of upheaval and of new orientation both in art and technology as well as in society. Thus, the exhibition Francesco Lo Savio – Tano Festa. The Lack of the Other offers space for a reflection on the general artistic achievements of this period.

In addition, to complete the exhibition the ZKM | Museum of Contemporary Art has dedicated a cabinet to the collector Giorgio Franchetti. Franchetti was not merely the biggest Tano Festas collector, but a loyal friend and preferred discussion partner. Franchetti's three children − Marion, Carlo and Pietro Arco Franchetti, and co-curators of this special part of the exhibition dedicated to their father − have preserved and promoted this collection, which is the result of an attentively and passionately undertaken research effort: a retrospective which recommends itself to a coherent reading of art history.

A comprehensive publication will be published, conceived as a presentation of research results: the numerous original documents, statements by key innovators and well-researched essays all contribute to filling what have previously otherwise remained striking lacunae in the field.

A comprehensive publication will be published, conceived as a presentation of research results: the numerous original documents, statements by key innovators and well-researched essays all contribute to filling what have previously otherwise remained striking lacunae in the field.

Curators: Freddy Paul Grunert and Peter Weibel


Under the patronage of

Italian Embassy, Berlin



Francesco Lo Savio: (c) Private Collection
Tano Festa: (c) Private Collection, Foto: Elisabetta Catalano


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