The exhibition, which opened at the end of last year on December 22nd, brings together for the first time some of the most significant works of Charles Zinelli and Canemorto, two artistic personalities whose productions, albeit distant in time, appear united by the same spirit.
Carlo Zinelli was a schizophrenic housed at the psychiatric hospital in Verona. In 1953, when he was confined in the fifth and last wing of the hospital, specific for the irrecoverable patients, he started to scratch graffiti on the walls by using a brick. The graffiti radically changed Zinelli’s life and made history: his works reached Jean Dubuffet in Paris, who was theorising the concepts of anti-culturelle art and art brut in those same years, and they also attracted personalities like André Breton. The same aggressive and unsightly approach is evident in Canemorto, whose irreverent and brutal artistic production allows him to revisit Art Brut and encourage a counterculture that is extremely contemporary and cultured, within the public space.
The exhibition is Altrove Gallery’s first show that compares Modernist art with contemporary art production, made possible thanks to “Museo della Follia” responsible for the concession of Carlo Zanelli’s original works.
Carlo Giallo su sfondo di tre cani is currently open to the public running until the 21st of January, 2017 at the gallery located on Corso Mazzini 179, 88100 Catanzaro, Italy.
Carlo, with his real name Carlo Zinelli, was born near Verona, Italy, losing his mother at the age of two. Seven years later, his father, a carpenter, sent him to work on a farm. Subsequently, Carlo became an apprentice butcher at the municipal slaughterhouses in Verona. He was enlisted during the Second World War in the Alpine Hunters section. From then on, the first signs of psychiatric disorders started manifesting. At thirty one, he was interned at the San Giacomo Hospital in Verona. Ten years later, he started doing graffiti on the walls of the establishment. Faced with his need to express himself, the management of the hospital invited him to frequent a workshop for painting and sculpture created in 1957.
During this period, Carlo will produce nearly three thousand works. His graphic language being characterised by an accumulation of patterns and by changes of points of view and scales. He painted in gouache on the front and back of sheets of paper, covering the surface with human like characters and animals in profile, matching his compositions with inscriptions.
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