Countertrends at the 1988 Venice Biennale

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There are those who live in their time
ignoring that time is reversible
as a typewriter ribbon.
He who digs into the past can understand
that past and future are just
a millionth of a second.
(Eugenio Montale)
 
In the second half of the 1980s - an art scene dominated by the return to painting and figurative arts - the Tuscans Antonio Catelani, Daniela De Lorenzo and Carlo Guaita debuted in the Aperto 88 section at the Venice Biennale, curated by Giovanni Carandente. The three sculptors offer a minimal language, made of pure lines and abstract geometric forms, bucking the figurative style proposed (typical of the transavantgarde style) during this period. Their works, which retrieve the lesson of the Italian Arte Povera and American minimalism, are the result of an artistic process that focuses on the denial of the unnecessary. In the Dentro il Novecento section (the Twentieth Century section), samples of artwork in public places, such as discos and fashion ateliers, are shown as well as the latest trends in music (in 1987, the Tempo Reale research and teaching centre opened. It was directed by Luciano Berio), in theater (the experiments by Magazzini Criminali and Gruppo Krypton) and dance (such as Virgilio Sieni with Parco Butterfly).

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