Grazer Kunstverein

Elio Montanari

27 Sep - 23 Nov 2014

© Elio Montanari
‘Untitled. James Lee Byars, Venezia 1986’
Courtesy the artist
Quis Erudiet Without Documenta
27 September – 23 November 2014

Curated by November Paynter, Associate Director of Research and Programs, SALT, Istanbul

Following the exhibition Elio Montanari: One, No One and One Hundred Thousand at SALT Galata in Istanbul, the Grazer Kunstverein presents a selection of works by the Italian Architect and photographer Elio Montanari (b. 1944, Ravenna).

Elio Montanari independently photographed hundreds of artists producing, installing and rehearsing their works for major art events and exhibitions around the world from the early 1980s up until 2005. His exhaustive personal archive, housed in Fener in Istanbul comprises over 500,000 negatives and diapositives, which capture intimate moments shared with artists forming their work while supported by assistants, curators and peers.

A majority of Montanari’s negatives have remained untouched for almost thirty years. His work offers an opportunity to assess the photographer – artist – curator relationships of a former era and how these adjusted over time; the physical energy and long commitment devoted to creative production and how these too have changed as new technologies take hold; and the role and canonical value of a document to satisfy the need for certitude.

Montanari’s first major solo exhibition One, No One and One Hundred Thousand at SALT Galata included sequences of photographs that exposed the concentration and passion of individual artists as they work towards one piece or an entire exhibition. Practitioners such as Matthew Barney, Pier Paolo Calzolari, Catherine David, Alanna Heiss, Janis Kounellis, Marisa Merz, Claes Oldenburg and Emilio Vedova are portrayed in an unusual manner, therefore revealing a compelling new side from within the context of art production.

The exhibition is accompanied by a publication, which presents a selection of photographs by Montanari as well as essays by November Paynter and Catherine David. The publication is co-published by SALT, Grazer Kunstverein and Mousse Publishing.

*The Members Library is constructed and designed by the artist Céline Condorelli in collaboration with Harry Thaler as a permanent work entitled ‘Things That Go Without Saying’. The structure built for The Members Library is part of a series entitled ‘Additionals’. These different prop-like objects and quasi-functional structures operate at a scale between furniture and architecture.

Tags: Matthew Barney, Pier Paolo Calzolari, Celine Condorelli, Catherine David, Marisa Merz, Claes Oldenburg, Emilio Vedova