Solomon's Seal between Blue Klein and Pink Fontana
The Maurizio Nannucci exhibition at the Wiener Secession in Vienna, from April 5th to May 15th 1995, presents an anthology of his neon installations. The panorama begins with the first installations of the 1960s and concludes with works specially created for the Secession space.
This important event comes after a whole string of recent major retrospectives: Lenbachhaus, Munich 1981; Villa delle Rose, Bologna 1992; Villa Arson, Nice 1992; Usine Fromage, Rouen 1993; Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris 1994; Kunstmuseum, Aarhus 1994.
The Viennese show is a celebration of Nannucci's idiom, the consecration of his style, the integration of semantic signs in architecture, of his strategy of space-light relations in the combined used of colours. This exhibition will clarify once and far all the scale of the man as a «writer of space» and protagonist of the poetic integration of neon light in architecture. Maurizio Nannucci has by now gained his place among the family of great semiologists of our day, between sign and light: Barbara Kruger, Jenny Holzer, Bruce Nauman on one side and James Turrell and Dan Flavin on the other. Thus the "solitary" period of his career, during which the Florentine artist had occupied a position of relative self-exclusion from the Italian scene of his generation, is clearly over.
This was to be the masterpath of his adventure, the structural device that distinguished him from the parallel developments of the European Fluxus visual poets and performers. The "strategic" use of signs and colours was the projected work of the memory-universe, a memory where all is space, where time matters little (it is in fact called after the instant of illumination). The signs of memory liberated from the iron law of lime are projected into space, their true realm, their specific field of extension. Space is by definition flexible and available: the blank page of a book, the four walls or ceiling of a room. The architrave or architectural façade. And so the other working system of Nannucci's strategy, colour. Brought to bear, with its complex relations and correspondences: light, space, language.
The "strategic" use of signs and colours was the projected work of the memory-universe, a memory where all is space, where time matters little. The signs of memory liberated from the iron law of lime are projected into space, their true realm, their specific field of extension
Nannucci has always been a great traveller, and during the '90s, during which he established his name worldwide, his monumental light paintings multiplied all over Europe. Let's talk about art ... maybe (1992), on the Mail Road of Edinburgh (1992) or More than meets the eye (Kunsthalle Vienna 1993) project into their surrounding space the rhythmic organic obliquity of the artist's mental researches and hesitations.
A monumental composition of 1988, a vertical sign fourteen metres long, projected onto one side of the St. Pierre Museum at Lyons two names, associated with two colours: Blue Klein, Pink Fontana . This cultural reference speaks volumes: it is the key to the whole gamut of Maurizio Nannucci's expression: between pink gashes and blue monochrome, Solomon's seal... Pierre Restany