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FRONTIERA 40 Italian Style Writing 1984-2024

Frontiera 40 at MAMBO - Bologna

13 April – 13 July, 2024

FRONTIERA 40 Italian Style Writing 1984-2024MAMbo – Museum of Modern Art of Bologna, Italy.

The exhibition stems from the desire to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of Frontier ArtNew York Graffiti, an exhibition conceived from a project by Francesca Alinovi. She was able to recognize in the original spontaneous force of the graffiti writers, opposed by the promoters of the ordinance decorum of Western cities, a vitalistic charge never found in other movements.

FRONTIER 40 Italian Style Writing 1984-2024 questions the historical and critical legacy that initiative, seminal in contaminating the official art system and the urban reality of Writing, has had to this day. The exhibition focuses on the work of 181 among the best Italian representatives of Style Writing. Starting from frontier art, that according to Alinovi stood “within an intermediate space between culture and nature, mass and elite, black and white, aggression and irony, filth and exquisite refinement,” they move toward new possibilities of expression that contemplate environmental painting as a new horizon, a suggestion moreover elaborated by Alinovi herself.

Among the writers, some of them were directly influenced by the 1984 exhibition while others, younger, have been working since the last decade of the twentieth century. A period in which the discipline saw exponential growth both physically and stylistically. In the works on display, the weight that the writers’ home cities have had on their path emerges. Operating in Milan certainly has a different meaning from doing so in Bologna or Rome; moreover, the thickening of relationships woven with provincial places has reinforced in these authors the use of contaminated languages that have given rise to letters containing different styles, little understood by a public unaware of the glossary of the discipline.

The exhibition is a compendium of more than 40 years of experimentation, vandalistic daring, stylistic challenges, friendships, and crews able to transcend the territorial boundary of their hometown by joining larger and international groups.

The 181 unpublished sketches presented testify to the creative process of several generations of Italian writers, unique expressive devices, prioritized and generative of each author’s style. In the discipline of Writing, preparatory drawings (or sketches) constitute testimonies of the evolution and sophistication of the sign; they represent investigative tools endowed with conceptual value, as well as documents of a path in the making. In addition, they are witnesses of how “the graffiti phenomenon,” so often defined in a negative sense, represents a complex discipline dense with the most heterogeneous cultural references. Choosing the sketch as the object of investigation is meant to be a challenge, an opportunity to tiptoe into the stylistic process of each of the invited authors.

The works exhibited are mostly made on paper, in its infinite variables, but also on textiles and other media using graphite, markers, acrylic colors and sometimes through the use of mixed proto or pseudo collage techniques that have given rise to new stylistic vocabularies. In the sketches there is a prevalent presence of letters with few hints of the figurative, as if to demonstrate the use of a real language made up of codes from an ancestral, almost primitive intuition at the origin of the sign and its hypothetical representation.

Some names of the artists of the sketches: 108, Aser, Breezy G, Crash Kid, Flycat, Grasshopper, Ice One, Iems, Kaos One, Kayone, Napal, Nemo, Panda , Pane, Peeta, Rae, Rusty, Sugo, Tekne, Trota, Wany e Zentwo.

Frontiera 40
– Italian Style Writing 1984-2024
MAMbo — Museum of Modern Art of Bologna
Exhibition dates: 13 April  – 13 July, 2024

Via Don Giovanni Minzoni 14, 40121 BOLOGNA

Tuesday – Wednesday – Sunday: 10am → 18pm
Thursday – Friday – Saturday: 10am → 19pm

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