the small utopia. ars multiplicata at the fondazione prada
‘small utopia. ars multiplicata’
fondazione prada at ca’ corner della regina in venice
‘in advance of the broken arm’, 1915 (1964) by marcel duchamp
staatlisches museum schwerin, schwerin
the vera and the arturo schwarz collection of dada and surrealist art in the israel museum, jerusalem;
‘trap’ by marcel duchamp
atilio codognato collection, venice


images © attilio maranzano

the small utopia. ars multiplicata
ca’ corner della regina
, fondazione prada, venice, italy
on now through 25th november 2012

curated by germano celant, the 2012 signature exhibition at fondazione prada’s venice gallery space reflects the dream of achieving the popular spread
of art editions through the multiplication of artworks as objects– an artistic desire borne at the beginning of the 20th century with the russian constructivists
and pursued through the fluxus and pop art movements of the 1960s and ’70s.

‘this small utopia, born at the beginning of the 20th century out of the attempts by the russian constructivists and productivists to work with objects
of everyday use, such as pottery, and the more individualistic aims of marcel duchamp, who reproduced his own works on a reduced scale and
assembled them in his boîte-en-valise, 1941 (three editions of which are presented here), put down deeper roots in the seventies, when the system
of art began to spread, on the plane of information and communication, to all levels of society. an adventure in which all the principal movements
became caught up, from italian futurism to the bauhaus, from neoplasticism to dada and surrealism, from nouveau réalisme to op art and fluxus,
culminating in the explosion in multiplication triggered by pop art, promoter of a genuine “supermarket” of the art object, translated into book,
magazine, can, film, clothing, record, dish, furniture, toy, and many other forms.

the small utopia. ars multiplicata at the fondazione prada
‘la mariée mise à nu par ses célibataires même’ or ‘la boîte verte’ (the bride stripped bare by her bachelors, even or the green box), 1934
neue galerie graz am universalmuseum joanneum, graz; zignone collection
‘de ou par marcel duchamp ou rrose sélavy’ or ‘la boîte-en-valise’ (from marcel duchamp or rrose séelavy or the box in a valise), 1941 (1947)
series B, private collection; series F, FRAC poitou-charentes, angoulême; series D, zignone collection

 

 

surveying hundreds of individual pieces across three floors, the
exhibition investigates the change in perspective on the meaning
of an
‘artwork’ and on their opportunities for use both socially and
aesthetically.

divided across different rooms, each devoted to a specific medium, the
ground floor and first mezzanine display artists’ books, magazines,
experimental films and radio: the early media in which the defining
boundaries of what constitutes an art object began to dissolve.

the second level of the building houses the exhibition’s central section, comprising over six hundred
objects of design, ceramics, glassware,
textiles, toys and editions of
originals and multiples. the realization of these objects reflects the opportunities that new technology brought
to art production. works here span a host of 20th century artistic
movements– from italian futurism to russian constructivism and bauhaus;
from neoplasticism to surrealism, and nouveaux réalistes, op art, and
pop art– each of which was marked significantly by the emergence
of technology, especially those tools of mass production; and each of
which adopted its own approach and aesthetic to the possibilities
that this brought to ‘ars multiplicata’ and the historical desire of the mass dissemination of art objects.

the small utopia. ars multiplicata at the fondazione prada
installation view including works by man ray, meret oppenheim, maurice henry and max ernst

contributors to the showing include the museum of modern art in
new york, director anne thurmann-jajes of the research
center for
artist’s publications of the museum weserburg in bremen, antonio somaini, marie rebecchi and guy schraenen.

the small utopia. ars multiplicata at the fondazione prada
‘brillo soap pads box (pasadena type)’, 1969 by andy warhol
galerie bruno bischofberger, zurich;
‘campbell’s tomato juice box’, 1964 by andy warhol
the andy warhol museum, pittsburgh; founding collection, contribution to the andy warhol foundation for the visual arts;
‘mott’s apple juice box’, 1964 by andy warhol
the andy warhol museum, pittsburgh; founding collection, contribution to the andy warhol foundation for the visual arts

the small utopia. ars multiplicata at the fondazione prada
‘heinz tomato ketchup box’, 1964 by andy warhol
the andy warhol museum, pittsburgh; founding collection, contribution to the andy warhol foundation for the visual arts

the small utopia. ars multiplicata at the fondazione prada
‘beach buggy’, 1922 (1925) by gerrit rietveld
centraal museum, utrecht;
‘compositie VIII’, 1918-19 by theo van doesburg
museum de lakenhal, leiden; loan cultural heritage agency of the netherlands;
‘compositie VIII’, 1918-19 by theo van doesburg
hernando pérez collection, màlaga; courtesy galerie ulrich fiedler, berlin

the small utopia. ars multiplicata at the fondazione prada
‘la mariée mise à nu par ses célibataires même’ or ‘la
boîte verte’ (the bride stripped bare by her bachelors, even or the
green box), 1934
neue galerie graz am universalmuseum joanneum, graz; zignone collection
‘de ou par marcel duchamp ou rrose sélavy’ or ‘la boîte-en-valise’ (from
marcel duchamp or rrose séelavy or the box in a valise), 1941 (1947)
series B, private collection; series F, FRAC poitou-charentes, angoulême; series D, zignone collection

the small utopia. ars multiplicata at the fondazione prada
veduta d’insieme

the small utopia. ars multiplicata at the fondazione prada
veduta d’insieme

the small utopia. ars multiplicata at the fondazione prada
‘inkwell set’, 1923 by nikolai suetin
porcelain, polychrome overglaze painting
12.5 x 15.5 x 14.5 cm
courtesy v. tsarenov collection, london
© nikolai suetin by SIAE 2012

the small utopia. ars multiplicata at the fondazione prada
sergei checkhonin with nikolai suetin
‘service set’, 1923
porcelain, polychrome overglaze painting; 5 elements
courtesy state hermitage museum, st. petersburg
© nikolai suetin by SIAE 2012

the small utopia. ars multiplicata at the fondazione prada
‘wedding souvenir’ by claes oldenburg, 1966
cast plaster; ‘silver edition’ spray painted
5 3/4 x 6 1/2 in. (14.6 x 16.5 x 6.4 cm)
courtesy claes oldenburg and coosje van bruggen
© 1966 claes oldenburg

the small utopia. ars multiplicata at the fondazione prada
‘pyramid’,1968 by roy lichtenstein
screenprint on lightweight board folder into a 3d pyramid
37.6 x 50.2 x 50.2 cm; edition of 300
courtesy private collection
© estate of roy lichtenstein by SIAE 2012

the small utopia. ars multiplicata at the fondazione prada
‘bicycle wheel’, 1913 (1964), no 1/8 by marcel duchamp
assisted ready made: bicycle wheel and fork mounted upside down on a kitchen stool painted white
126.5 x 63.5 x 31.8 cm; edition of 8
courtesy hessisches landesmuseum darmstadt
© succession marcel duchamp, 2012, ADAGP/paris, SIAE/rome

the small utopia. ars multiplicata at the fondazione prada
the exhibition space is the fondazione prada at ca’ corner della regina in venice

for more information about the cà corner della regina in venice
building where fondazione prada houses its art exhibitions,
read designboom’s coverage of the building on the occasion of its opening in june 2011 here.

the small utopia. ars multiplicata at the fondazione prada
germano celant, patrizio bertelli, miuccia prada and giorgio orsoni