Project Description

Giulio Turcato ( Mantova 1912 – Rome 1995 ), The biker or Small machine – Award and medals

Assembly of collage and objects on black wooden box cm 37 x 62 x 15 signed lower left.

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In a deviation from his research on the painting, and in response to a polemical manifesto read at the XII Congress of Verucchio, near Rimini, in 1962, which was attendend by a number of art criticians and artists, Giulio Turcato, who, animated by continued political and social allegiance, had already joined the new Front of the arts, the group of Eight (1950) – artistic association of international openness – and Continuity (1960), creates a series of “works – structures” dedicated to issues related to successful, economic speculation in the art market, controversial relationships with some critics – gallery owners that result in a number of references to money, medals and prizes used in a series of original works created in the early Sixties.

With the adoption of coins and plastic showy figures in the development of his formal artistic creations, Turcato undertook de facto his first experiment of three-dimensional art, creating a series of structures assembled to recreate a sort of one big obvious toy with an ironic intention: “Macchinette”, “Il Motociclista”, “L’ottovolante”, “Sputnik”, “Con Barattolo” are just some of the works carried out between 1963 and 1964, on display at the Galleria Il Segno in Rome in January, 1964. These works will herald the creation of real sculptures always conceived as open formal inventions: just think of works such “La cuccagna”, “Il busto di Santa Caterina” and “La Porta”. Between these divertissement, born to demand autonomy in the management of his artistic research, refusing some forced interpretations of the critics of those years, which is well recognized an important contribution to the development of certain artistic movements, stand two small tin motorcyclists projected, with a spring mechanism, towards the conquest of victory, celebrated by small medals.



Just this singular construction is adapted in this “small machine”, also known under the title of “Award and medals” – the work is published in the monograph dedicated to Turcato, published in 1971 and edited by Giorgio De Marchis (pl. 14) – . It is a building made with an arrangement of objects and collage on wood, exposed with similar works to the aforementioned solo-exhibition held in Galleria Il Segno in Rome in 1964. The pop shiny and powerful icon of the biker is the artist who runs after the success, the conquest of critics’ awards and success in the art market: the shimmering sirene of success are symbolized by the glittering medals ironically placed behind him, as if to symbolize that in fact is the success, relentlessly, to chase the artist. The work alludes, in addition to violent controversy raised in the aforementioned conference of Verucchio, even  to the formal istances that came from reading the Swiss magazine «Art International», megaphone of neo – dada motifs, very popular at that time among young artists resident in Rome.