Ekphrasis – Writing in Art


24/10/2019 - 09/02/2020

Ekphrasis – Writing in Art

Artistic writing is an ancient tradition, whose different aspects have assumed, over time, extremely varied modalities and roles - from theoretical treaties (Leonardo), autobiographical memoirs (Cellini), historical and critical texts (Vasari), to poetry (Michelangelo) - while also directly integrating with plastic works and visual art through the use of letters in the alphabet, words and texts.

The Ekphrasis – Writing in Art exhibition conceived by Bruno Corà shows many examples of twentieth and twenty-first century artists who have practiced, on the one hand, painting and sculpture, and on the other hand, writing, as a means of replacing or describing an image.

In his text on neo-rhetoric practices, Roland Barthes describes Ekphrasis as “an anthological fragment, which can be transferred from one discourse to another”.
In the framework of this exhibition, the chosen term should not be interpreted literally, but rather as a title as close as possible to the attitude adopted by certain artists, which consists not only in producing images through writing, but also in practicing it, in order to render it similar to the origins of the creation of its own image.

In synthesizing further, we could define the aim of this exhibition as an observation and reflection on the works and texts created by artists who are inclined to think with images.
We have thus selected one or two pieces by each artist, as well as publications and books containing the artist’s most emblematic texts.

The exhibition includes works and texts by more than forty artists starting in the 1960s; the catalogue, however, also presents historical examples from the beginning of the twentieth century, which are documented by photographs or reproductions of pages created by the artists.

Practical information