Milan’s Dep Art Gallery opens the new exposition season with a monographic exhibition dedicated to Salvo (pseudonym for Salvatore Mangione; Leonforte (Sicily) 1947 – Turin, 2015). “Salvo. An Art Without Compromises” is the third personal exhibition which the gallery has dedicated to the artist. From October 18 to December 23, 2017, a vibrant and unusual voyage in the different creative seasons of the artist over the decades.
From the "tombstones" of the Seventies to the "landscapes" of the last production, passing to embroidery and work on paper, the works brought together for this occasion cover a wide time range from 1972 to 2012, recapitulating the most intense and significant work and forty years of artistic research.
The thirty works on display, including the imposing Alba (200x250 cm, 1989) - one of Salvo’s largest canvases - are spread throughout the exhibition space as traces through which to reconstruct the story of a man who always felt free to attach himself to movements and ideologies without affiliating exclusively to anyone. An artist without compromises.
The journey begins in the years when Salvo changed step: his 1972-1973 works - the tombstones such as La tartaruga e l’aquila (“The Tortoise and the Eagle”), inspired by one of Aesop’s fables, and the embroidery such as Tricolore (“Tricolor”), both present in the exhibition. They will be the last of the conceptual mold; indeed, in his varied artistic production, Salvo left room to realize a style of painting full of references to art history (the artist was renowned for his extraordinary memory and encyclopedic knowledge).
Salvo’s eclectic journey - from the beginnings in the contest of Arte Povera (“Poor Art”), to an American-inspired Conceptualism, and then finally returning to the figure and the landscape - was nothing but a long and passionate affirmation of love for art and for painting in particular. "I was literally conquered by painting: it is something which gives me space, which opens up my knowledge, my ideas," the artist once explained.
His research extends with consistent ease through different imaginative horizons; in each of these, Salvo was able to mark his own time, vigorously illuminating history and thought. In fact, Salvo remains an iconic example of an intellectual artist who throughout his artistic journey never disregarded a continuous return to memory (as a type of settling), but equally embraced a contemporary search for balance and essential.
The exhibition is accompanied by a bilingual volume (Italian-English) realized by Dep Art, curated by Matteo Galbiati and Antonio Addamiano, with an essay written Matteo Galbiati, as well as reproductions of all the works on display, a selection of repertoire images and bio-bibliographical apparatus.