The exhibition Dialogues: Pino Pascali/Gino Marotta. Natural Artifices, curated by  Rosalba Branà and Lorenzo Canova will open on the 2nd July at 6.30 PM. It represents an encounter and an exchange between two key figures of the 1960’s renovation of Italian and international art.

Both born in 1935, the two artists were very close friends and shared similar views and poetic approaches. Pascali and Marotta were both actively participating in the fervid Roman Neo Vanguard movement and played key roles in the research trends that used new materials from their contemporary environment to conceive an innovative idea of art and of the manner in which it should communicate to the audience. As a matter of fact, the two artists greatly contributed to the immersive nature of environmental art and its tendency to cross boundaries.

Their interest for new materials offered by the industrialised world is seemingly in contrast with their constant return to nature, contaminated by scenography and advertising, by television and cinema, in which they were both actively involved.

In the catalogue, Branà writes “Pino Pascali (1935-1968) and Gino Marotta (1935-2012), lived  the artistic movements of the 1970s to the full and contributed to the substantial changes that occurred in the language used and the contents expressed in art at the time. They were both born out of a new culture which encompassed rural elements as well as the needs of the emerging industrial society.  The exhibition aims at creating a visual dialogue that can highlight differences and similarities within which the two artists operated, thus creating an example of unconventional creative freedom”.

The two authors followed a path that led them to present their works at important exhibitions such as Lo Spazio dell’Immagine in Foligno (1967) and 4 artistes italiens plus que nature in 1969 in Paris, the famous exhibition in which Pino Pascali played a key role with Marotta (and with Mario Ceroli and Jannis Kounellis),  although he had  tragically passed away one year earlier.

As Lorenzo Canova explains in his text:

“Pascali and Marotta are two leading figures in 1960s Italian and international art spheres. The two young friends were born in the same year and both came from cities in the south of Italy. They shared an interest in experimenting with new languages and new ways of expressing art. They were innovators, able to apply their talent to different fields such as advertising, architecture, theatre and television, while at the same time remaining true to their vision”.

The exhibition held at the Pino Pascali Foundation is structured around different sections that tell of the connection between modular tension, fiction and experimenting with landscapes through art works such as Albero del Paradiso (Tree of Heaven), Oasi d’Ombra (Oasis of Shade), Natura Modulare (Modular Nature), Paesaggio Artificiale (Artificial Landscape), to mention some of the works being presented, created between 1964 and 1973. Pascali’s Cinque Bachi da setola e un bozzolo (Five Bristle Worms and a Cocoon) engages in a dialogue with Marotta’s neon lit Ninfee (Water Lilies- orange, acid green and black) in a triumph of nature, creativity and artificiality.

This exhibition is a further step in the Pino Pascali Foundation’s historical and critical analysis that places the work of Pino Pascali side by side with other artists, in a constant game of cross references, poetic visions and common perspectives. Within the framework of this cycle of Dialogues, created by the director of the Pino Pascali Museum,  Rosalba Branà, the following exhibitions have been held in previous years: “Pino Pascali and Luigi Ghirri”,“Pascali Bonalumi Castellani Fontana Manzoni”, “Pino Pascali and Claudio Cintoli”.


The exhibition will open on Friday 2nd of July at 6.30 pm and will remain open until  17th October 2021 in compliance with Covid-19 rules in place.


On the occasion of the opening of the exhibition, visitors will be able to admire Nicola Guastamacchia’s work  32 Square Metres of (Mediterranean) Sea, “ artwork selected by public notice Cantica21. Italian Contemporary Art Everywhere | Section Under 35 – Over 35 – Dante (MAECI-DGSP/MiC-DGCC)”.


The project draws inspiration from Pino Pascali’s  32 Metri Quadri di Mare Circa ( About 32 Square Metres of Sea, 1967)and ponders on how difficult it is nowadays to imagine and represent the Mediterranean Sea without considering the tragedies lived by the many migrants who cross, or try to cross, their waters. Claiming the title and the format of Pascali’s work but with some variations, the installation consists in 27  steel squared bath tubs – as many as the EU member countries- containing water coloured with different concentrations of red pigment. Aniline, the blue colourused by Pascali to dye the water, naturally oxidizes with time and turns into more red-brown tones. Such a side effect gives way to reflections on the way we, as contemporary European citizens, perceive our sea and whether it is possible to think of the Mediterranean Sea as something other than the place where so many migrants have gone missing.


After one year touring in Italy and internationally in institutional galleries and Italian Cultural Institutes, the artwork is now a piece of the Pino Pascali Foundation’s permanent collection.