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Mimmo Rotella

Biography

Mimmo Rotella was born in Catanzaro on October 7, 1918 in a middle-class family, his mother has a good business as fashioner with 12 workers. After graduating from the Academy of Fine Arts in Naples, in 1945 he moved to Rome where he attended the avant-garde of the Roman artists gathered in the Forma I Group. Mimmo Rotella began his artistic career as a figurative painter and continued as an abstract-geometric painter. In the meantime, he experimented with phonetic poetry, which he calls "epistaltica", and traveled to the United States as an Artist in Residence at the University of Kansas City. Mimmo Rotella returned to Italy in 1954 and settled in Rome where, during a deep artistic crisis, he was told that advertising posters, of which the cities are covered, constitute an art form. This is how the "décollage" is born, which is the opposite of collage. That is, while the collage operates an overlay of images, the décollage operates a subtraction of the image by tears, and abrasions of the figures. The peculiarity of Mimmo Rotella's work is that he also uses the back of the collage for which the "retro d'affiche" are born. In the first works Rotella uses the public posters disconnecting them from their support, usually of galvanized plate, assembling them on canvas with few interventions of tears that are however not random but performed with deliberate wisdom. The 1960 is an important year for Rotella as he adheres to the movement of the "Nouveau Réalisme", of which the young critic French Pierre Restany is theoretical, and then because the subjects of his décollage are the most popular characters of Hollywood or Cinecittà cinema. Rotella then goes from the abstract of the first décollage to the glossy figurative, round-the-top style, where those who are the stars par excellence in the popular imagination are exalted, Marylin on all and then Mastroianni, Elvis, the circus tiger, etc. Rotella does not stop at décollage, in the following years he experiences the technique of photo editing on canvas emulsioned commonly called "Mec-Art". This diction means that the work is obtained by mechanical devises. At the same time, Rotella elaborates the technique of "Artypos". This technique consists of taking the proof of scrap printing of the printers, often consisting of overlapping images, and of collacing them on canvas. Sometimes after gluing these canvases are plasticized resulting in a more pleasant and appealing result. In the 1970s, Rotella experimented with two new techniques, the Frottage and the "Effaçage". In the frottage Rotella works with solvents to the nitro of images taken from the magazines and then transfer these images, largely discoloured, on a sheet of white paper by tracing; on the same sheet also transfers multiple images. In the effaçage Rotella deals with solvents of the pages cut out of magazines for which the image undergoes a discoloration until the disappearance of part of it. Next these pages are pasted on canvas.  Rotella keeps these works in the drawer until 2004 year in which he shows them at our gallery for which we decide to organize an exhibition that is the first ever of this kind of works and which will be inaugurated in December 2005, then just before his death. The 1980s saw three new experiments of Rotella,namely the "Blanks", the "Overtures" and the "Lamieres". The blanks consist of covering the image with monochrome sheets leaving gaps according to the artistic perception of Rotella, the overlays are instead graphic interventions, made with acrylic colors, on décollage. Lastly, the sheets are décollages performed directly on the sheet of advertising posters that often take the form of the backs. Rotella died in Milan on January 8, 2006 while his exhibition activity was in full swing. Throughout his career, Rotella participated in various international events such as the Venice Biennials of 1964, 1978 and 2000, the Quadriennale of Rome in 1965 and others. Public and private galleries dedicate many exhibitions to him and his works become part of important museums and private collections around the world.

 

Mimmo Rotella - Nouveau Réalisme

The Nouveau Réalisme is an artistic movement founded in Paris on October 27, 1960 by Pierre Restany who brought together under this name a group of artists including Villeglé, Arman, Heins, Klein, Spoerri, Tinguely to which later Christo, Rotella and Niki de Saint-Phalle were added. The group broke into three strands. The members of what he intended to recover in artistic form the language of advertising communication were, Rotella, Villeglè, Dufréne and Deschamps. These were also called Affichisti because the most full-bodied work of these was to remove the billboards that were in the cities and paste them on canvas. Usually these artists glued on the same canvas several layers of billboards that then worked performing tears that were not random but depended on the aesthetic taste of the artist and the message that he wanted to give. Among them was particular Mimmo Rotella, who had the idea of presenting not only the visible part of the torn posters, but also the back part that adhered to the support, land or wall. This is how what he called the Retro d'Affiche were born.

Mimmo Rotella

Works for sale

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Sogni (Dreams)

Year : 1972

Dimensions : cm 65x50

Technique : frottage

Authentication : authentication on photo by Mimmo Rotella

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Vatican

Year : 1965

Dimensions : cm 41x27

Technique : emulsified canvas

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Il Ciclope (The Cyclop)

Year : 1958

Dimensions : cm 27x19

Technique : retro d'affiche

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Ovale blu (Blue Oval)

Year : 1989

Dimensions : cm 50x37,5

Technique : décollage on iron sheet

Authentication : authentication by Mimmo Rotella on photo

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Il teatro (The Theatre)

Year : 1989

Dimensions : cm 50x37,5

Technique : décollage on iron sheet

Authentication : Authentication by Mimmo Rotella on photo

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The servants

Year : 1968-74

Dimensions : cm 116x81

Technique : tela emulsionata e pittura

Authentication : autentica di Mimmo Rotella su foto

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Strati (Layers)

Year : 1990

Dimensions : cm 6x5,8

Technique : décollage on canvas

Authentication : authentication by Mimmo Rotella on photo

Mimmo Rotella

Works sold or unavailable

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Salta

Year : 2002

Dimensions : cm 73x53

Technique : décollage on canvas

Authentication : authentication by Mimmo Rotella on photo

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Trasparente (Transparent)

Year : 1972

Dimensions : 20x18.6

Technique : Effaçage

Authentication : authentication by Mimmo Rotella on photo

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Sogni

Year : 1972

Dimensions : cm 65x50

Technique : frottage

Authentication : autentica autografa di Mimmo Rotella su foto e Archivio Fondazione Mimmo Rotella

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EU

Year : 1990

Dimensions : cm 20x16

Technique : décollage on canvas

Authentication : authentication by Mimmo Rotella on photo

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