Maddalena Sisto, Volevo le calze nuove

Preview 16 December 6:30 pm
17 December 2010 - 29 January 2011
curated by Francesca Pasini

The Galleria Riccardo Crespi presents ‘Volevo le calze nuove’ (‘I Wanted New Stockings’), an exhibition of works by the Piedmontese artist Maddalena Sisto (Alessandria 1951- Milan 2000) that have never been shown before. The idea behind the exhibition is to retrace, in a retrospective analysis, the development of an artistic personality that could already be discerned in the drawings and writings of her childhood.

The title is an extract from a poem written in 1964 in which a teenage Maddalena complained of the despair caused by the denial of a simple desire, that of wanting to stand out from the girls of her own age with a different pair of stockings, capable of reflecting the uniqueness of her character.

The exhibition offers the public an opportunity to admire works that have never previously been shown, such as the large temperas on paper of the sixties and seventies in the first room, where it is possible to trace some leitmotivs of the better-known work she was to produce under the name of Mad (the investigation of the feminine, the representation of universal frames of mind, the acute and ironic portrait of contemporary society). Descending to the mezzanine, visitors will find documents and materials that bear witness to a precise compositional sensibility, in the collages of her school exercise books and in the comical figurines of women that she observed (and with whom she identified), cut out of used pieces of paper and decorated with coloured crayons.

On the lower floor another group of drawings and collage on paper speak to us of various moments in Mad’s life: a synthesis that reveals the force of a critical stylization and an ‘at first sight lapidary’ line, as Marisa Vescovo defined it in 1972 on the occasion of a mini solo exhibition.

An encounter with an art that from its very first manifestations took the form of a lucid recording of reality and critique of society, and that developed, through its references to the painting of the early 20th century (from the German realism of Otto Dix and Georg Grosz to the metaphysical vision of Sironi), into a multi-layered and vivid reflection on history, covering the years from the seventies up until 2000.