Mimmo Rotella

Mimmo Rotella (Catanzaro 1918 - Milan 2006)

Mimmo Rotella, born Domenico Rotella, is considered one of the protagonists of the art scene in the second half of the 20th century, an exponent of Pop Art and the Nouveau Rèalisme movement. In 1945, he moved to Rome and his arrival in this city brought him into contact with the first significant art movement of his career: the Forma 1 group. In 1951, he held his first solo exhibition at the Galleria Chiurazzi in Rome and obtained a Fulbright scholarship, thanks to which he went to the United States, where he attended the University of Kansas City for a year. From 1954 onwards, Rotella developed his first décollages, a procedure by which he created new works by tearing shreds of posters from the walls of Rome and then placing them on canvas in his studio. The artists of Nouveau Rèalisme called it décollage as a technique contrary to normal collage, which was also practised at the same time by the exponents of Pop Art. The fragmented and heterogeneous compositions well reflect the spirit of the community and carry forward that concept of reclaiming materials in a now largely consumerist society. His décollages, from the beginning of the 1960s, are characterised by the presence of big screen and music stars such as Marilyn Monroe, Liz Taylor, Marlon Brando and Elvis Presley. In 1961, at the invitation of the critic Pierre Re-stany, he joined the Nouveau Réalisme movement and three years later moved to Paris, where he developed a procedure he called 'Mec-Art', with which, by projecting negative images onto the emulsified canvas, he produced works that he exhibited for the first time in 1965 in Restany's Galerie J. After settling in Milan, in the 1980s he started the Blanks series, in which he covered the posters with monochrome sheets, and in 1984 he started painting again with the Cinecittà 2 cycle of works and later with the Sovrapitture series, in which he intervened pictorially on the advertising posters.





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