The “Shreded” Cinema of Mimmo Rotella

Carmen Cutugno (May 31, 2010)
“Rotella and Cinema” is an exhibit made up of twenty- three works by the Italian artist Mimmo Rotella, which will be on view at the Italian Culture Institute of New York from June 1 through July 15, 2010. These auteur shreds are a journey through masterpieces of Hollywood and of the Italian Neorealist Cinema.

“Rotella and Cinema” is the name of the exhibition with which the Italian Cultural Institute in New York will pay homage to one of the most nonconformist artists of the last fifty years. Considered an exponent of the Nouveau Realisme since the early Sixties, together with other world talents such as Klein, Spoerri, Tinguely, Cesar, Arman and Cristo, Mimmo Rotella has been labeled by art critics as the “strappamanifesti” (“poster tearer”) or “il pittore della carta incollata” (“the painter of  glued paper”).

In fact he has become famous thanks to his decollages, created by pasting pieces of posters shredded on the road upon a canvas.

This way of making art, which quickly became Rotella's unmistakable “trademark”, actually reveals on the one hand his tribute to the collage, a cubist tecnique, and on the other hand the same evident contamination of the Dadaist ready-made

On display from June 1 through July 15, 2010, at the Italian Cultural Institute on Park Avenue, this is a very representative collection of Rotella’s works, which includes three remarkable masterpieces by the artist, who was born in Calabria (in southern Italy) but lived in Milan for most of his life. The highlight of the exhibition is a series of twenty decollages inspired by American and Italian cinema history.

Through Rotella’s shreds we will catch a glimpse of the famous posters of “Casablanca” and “Gilda”, “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” and “Gone With the Wind”.

Not only will the lacerated posters bring us back to the atmosphere of the Hollywood myths, but, with some decollages such as “La Ciociara”, they will also be a tribute to the most celebrated period of Italian cinema, Neorealism .

“With a new style, a different outlook, and a poetic and provocative influence, the art of Mimmo Rotella delights us with the story of our recent past, the myths of modern man, the lacerations of the soul, and the utopia and hopes of tomorrow” remarks the Councilor of Culture of the City of Milan, Massimiliano Finazzer Flory.

During the press conference for the presentation of the events organized for June 2, Riccardo Viale, the current director of the Italian Cultural Institute of New York, explained that “this exhibit was created to give a cultural aspect to the turn of initiatives conceived to celebrate the Feast of the Italian Republic (on June 2) here in New York".

This exhibit, which is a unique occasion to go over memorable moments and scenes of the American and Italian cinema thanks to Mimmo Rotella's art, is curated by Elena Pontiggia, and organized by the Municipality of Milan, the Italian Cultural Institute, together with the Spirale Milano Gallery in collaboration with the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana as well as the support of the Consulate General of Italy in New York.

Rotella and Cinema

Italian Cultural Institute of New York

686 Park Avenue


Exhibition opening June 1, 2010

6 – 8 pm

On view through July 15 , 2010





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