Lectio Magistralis by Massimo RecalcatiThe mistery of things. Reflections upon contemporary painting in the light of psychoanalysis
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Works of art, as all great artists know, are always closely linked with the absolute, the unrepresentable, the real and the impossible. Seizing the opportunity provided by his latest book, entitled Il Mistero delle cose. Nove ritratti di artisti (The mystery of things. Portraits of nine artists), Massimo Recalcati is meeting readers so as to reflect upon art in the light of psychoanalysis.
Is representing the unrepresentable, portraying the incommunicable or giving a human face to the absolute possible?
Such is the task of great art. The nine Italian artists – Giorgio Morandi, Alberto Burri, Emilio Vedova, William Congdon, Giorgio Celiberti, Jannis Kounellis, Claudio Parmiggiani, Alessandro Papetti and Giovanni Frangi – of whom Recalcati made a fascinating portrait share that same ideal. Pieces of art are a wake-up call from ordinary reality, and force us to face the “mystery of things”. Art is no escape route, no shelter from the excessive roughness of life and death. Rather, it is a chance to understand otherness, and remember that a bottle or a rag have more grace in them than the face of saints.
Giovanna Melandri President Fondazione MAXXI
Massimo Recalcati author of the book