Hilario Isola and Matteo Norzi
Collezione Privata

GAM Entrance and Lower Level
9 february - 31 march 2012

Collezione privata – Private Collection

February- 31 March 2012  

The Private Collection project by Hilario Isola and Matteo Norzi is a project of visual investigation based on x-ray photographs of Nineteenth and Twentieth century Italian artworks in search of the figurative and symbolic evidence that hides beneath the layers of painting. The duo’s intervention originates from their careful reading and close dialogue with the works they have selected and interpreted in the light of any possible clue that could reveal traces of second thoughts and alterations that had remained concealed. Thus, some decades later, Isola and Norzi operate to uncover the psychological and creative processes behind the artists’ compositional choices. Collezione Privata alludes to the secretly intimate story behind each work, as it reveals the paths and pentimenti that shaped the genesis of the creative process.  

Isola and Norzi bring to the forefront the idea of artwork as a mental and psychological space, as a panel where to trace back the infinite turning points the author faced, with an investigation that literally finds its space through the layers of pictorial matter. The two artists proceed by following the series of subsequent traces and underdrawings; they cross the void left by the doubts and second thoughts disclosed by the electromagnetic photographs of the works, and ultimately bring to the surface the phantoms of new original versions for these masterpieces of Italian art.  

The works on exhibit have been specifically created for the exhibition in relation with some important works by Giacomo Balla, Enrico Castellani, Angelo Morbelli, and Amedeo Modigliani. The last three are part of the GAM collection and have undergone x-ray inspection.  

The sophisticated x-ray technique used in the restoration and preservation of artworks, allows our vision to move beyond the surface of the painting, opening the way to introspective paths along that mental landscape the artist had envisaged while creating the original work. Private Collection is an invitation to force museum paradigms, presenting the GAM collection under a new possible hermeneutics, where philological rigor is accompanied by an emotionally aware interpretation of Art History.   For this show in particular, Isola and Norzi present their free re-elaboration of Un Natale! Al Pio Albergo Trivulzio by Angelo Morbelli, dated 1909, and La ragazza rossa (Testa di donna dai capelli rossi) by Amedeo Modigliani, dated 1915. The artists start from the surprising subjects discovered underneath the surface of the works, which for the first time were analyzed under x-rays. Morbelli’s work reveals different ideas for the set of the painted scene, with changes in the number and position of figures, and many variations in the light angles, to the point of reshaping the final symbolism of the scene.
On the other hand, Modigliani seems to have dismissed the original presence of a different female face on the painting ground. In Isola e Norzi’s investigation the mutable weaving of the variations underneath the visible surface of the paintings seems to trace the psychology of the artists’ hearts. Collezione privata thus becomes a phantasmic phenomenology of artistic reflections, emotions, and feelings, which are all inscribed in the micrographic sedimentations of the analyzed works.   Hilario Isola and Matteo Norzi (Torino, 1976) have exhibited internationally, including at Art in General, NY; Artists Space, NY; Sculpture Center, NY; Canadian Centre  for Architecture, Montreal; Museion, Bolzano; David Roberts Art Foundation, London; Fondazione Bevilacqua la Masa Venezia; Nouveau Musée National de Monaco, Montecarlo.  

This exhibition has been carried out with the support of the Associazione Amici della Fondazione Torino Musei  

GAM Torino. Via Magenta, 31 Entrance and Lower Level  

Under the title Vitrine the GAM Torino dedicates a new space to young contemporary Piedmontese art, showcasing new works by a number of local artists who have emerged on the national art scene. The project is divided into a series of exhibition cycles, each involving a different curator. Every curator will define a theme and select a number of artists who will specifically create new works for the gallery’s exhibition spaces. Scope of the project is to present a significant overview of the local artistic production.  

First Cycle:

curated by Luigi Fassi
September 27, 2011 throughout  July 31, 2012  

The first part of Vitrine has been assigned to a Turin-based young curator, Luigi Fassi, who has selected eight local artists born between the Sixties and Eighties. His cycle of shows, Con gli occhi chiusi – With Closed Eyes is titled after Federigo Tozzi’s first novel published in 1918. The nearsightedness of the main character that Tozzi alludes to forces the reader to experience the world from a different perspective, with a blurred uncertainty that warps the vision of the outside world, but also that of the self. The 19th century metaphor of Con gli occhi chiusi suggests an interpretative key to the exhibited works, highlighting the artists’ intention to present bordering or neglected perspectives.  

Con gli occhi chiusi.

Selected artists: Renato Leotta (1982), Gianluca and Massimiliano de Serio (1978), Isola and Norzi (Hilario Isola and Matteo Norzi 1976), Alessandro Sciaraffa (1976), Caretto and Spagna (Andrea Caretto 1970 and Raffaella Spagna 1967).   Upcoming: Alessandro Sciaraffa 12 April – 30 May 2012; Caretto and Spagna 5 June - 31 July 2012