Franco Mazzucchelli

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Franco Mazzucchelli (b. 1939, Milan) lives and works in Milan. He was professor of Techniques of Sculpture at the Brera Academy of Fine Arts in Milan. His works have been shown in historical exhibitions, including the 15th Milan Triennale (1973), the 37th Venice Biennale (1976) and the 11th Rome Quadrennial (1986).

Known for his pioneering experimentation with synthetic materials in the sixties, as well as his large-scale, public spatial installations that disrupted the quotidian conventions of local inhabitants, Franco Mazzucchelli has produced a decades-spanning, prolific body of work that extends to this day. His most well-known series A. to A. (Art to Abandon) consists of inflatable sculptures made of PVC that were at first abandoned in lakes and deserts before being left in public spaces across Italy such as squares, schools and factories. The works temporally became part of the urban fabric, and the contact with passers-by activated their unexpected social roles: the public did not passively admire the artworks but was rather keen to touch them, move them around, play with them and take them away. Of the majority of these “abandoned” objects, the only remains are photographs and videos that document interactions between the artworks and their ambiances. His later series, Bieca Decorazione, which translates to “pure decoration”, are works that, unlike their ephemeral A. to A. predecessors, reference their objecthood and the art market. A statement against the commercialization of art that seems at first to contradict itself, the Bieca Decorazione series relies on context and history for its value beyond mere commodity.

His inflatable sculptures and spatial installations have been displayed in several locations in Italy and abroad, such as Camargue, Milan; the Alfa Romeo factory; the Fine Art Academy of Brera; the Sforza Castle; Volterra; Bergamo; Varese; Lake Como, Milan; and Munich.

His works has been exhibited as MACRO –  Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome; Centre Pompidou Metz and Paris;  ArtScience Museum, Singapore, Sweden; Kunsthalle Wien; Lunds Konsthall; ZKM – Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie, Karlsruhe;  nGbK, Berlin; Museo del Novecento, Milan; Triennale di Milano, Milan; Villa Croce, Genova; among others.

Collections: Fondazione E.A. Fiera Internazionale di Milano, Milan, Italy

Selected Solo and Group exhibitions

2022
VITA NUOVA NEW ISSUES FOR ART IN ITALY 1960-1975, curated by Valérie Da Costa, group exhibition, MAMAC – Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain, Nice

2021
Aerodream. Architecture, design and inflatable structures 1950-2020, curated by Frédéric Migayrou and Valentina Moimas, Centre Pompidou-Metz, France

2020
plongée en apnée, solo exhibition, ChertLüdde, Berlin
Museum for Preventive Imagination – EDITORIAL, MACRO – Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome
Floating Utopias, Lunds Konsthall, in collaboration with nGbK neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst, Berlin; ArtScience Museum, Singapore, Sweden

2019
Time Is Thirsty, curated by Luca Lo Pinto, Kunsthalle Wien Museumsquartier, Wien
The Height Whirls, Stronger Than You, Even, solo exhibition, Hakgojae Gallery, Seoul
Floating Utopias, curated by Artúr van Balen, Fabiola Bierhof, Alexander Dunst, Anna Hoetjes, Jantzen Roozenburg, ArtScience Museum, Singapore
The Negative Space, curated by Peter Weibel with Anett Holzheid and Daria Mille, Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie, Karlsruhe
Uncertain 4, Gallery Weekend Beijing

2018
The BFG, kaufmann repetto, New York
Art Basel Feature, booth with ChertLüdde, Basel
Floating Utopias, Group exhibition, curated by Artúr van Balen, Fabiola Bierhof, Alexander Dunst, Anna Hoetjes, Jantzen Roozenburg, nGbK, Berlin
Non ti abbandonerò mai. Franco Mazzucchelli 1964 – 1979, solo exhibition, Curated by Sabino Maria Frassà and Iolanda Ratti, Museo del Novecento, Milan
Vita, Morte, Miracoli. L’arte della Longevità, curated by Carlo Antonelli e Anna Daneri, Villa Croce, Genova
Pneuma, solo exhibition, ChertLüdde, Berlin

2017
Riappropriazioni, solo exhibition, Converso, Milan

2015
Group exhibition, Spazio Tadini, Milan
Pneuma 03, solo exhibition, Plasma – Plastic Modern Art, Milan
Frangit Nucem, Palazzo Isimbardi, Milan
Aria condizionata, solo show, Polisci Arte, Milan
Aria nuova, Chiaramonte Factories, Agrigento
Intervento Ambientale, Valle dei Tempi, Agrigento
Volterra 73.15 – memoria e prospezione, Teatro Persio Flacco, Volterra
Volterra 73.15 – memoria e prospezione, public intervention, Piazza dei Priori, Volterra
Installation, Abbey Contemporary Art, Abbazia di San Remigio, Parodi Ligure
Intervento Ambientale, Piazza dei Priori, Volterra
ACQUA E – padiglione EXPO Venice acque – international exhibition, Milan
35 artisti alla galleria DISEGNO, Mantova
Oltre, Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Budapest
A. on A., performance, Biennale Italia Cina – Mastio della Cittadella, Turin
Non abbandonarmi, solo exhibition, Messina Museum, Milan

2014
Solo exhibition, Cerrito Arte, Genoa
Pneuma, solo exhibition, Library of the Brera Academy of Fine Arts
Attorno all’aria, Spazio Disegno, Mantova
Abiti da lavoro, group exhibition, Triennale di Milano, Milan
Group exhibition, Galleria art. IX-XI, Budapest

2013
1966-1976 Milano e gli anni della grande speranza, Bocconi University, Milan
Biennale Internazionale di Scultura, Racconigi
Ruote d’artista, group exhibition, Florence
Allegria di naufragi, Villa Reale, Monza
Armonia plastica, solo exhibition, Castello cinquecentesco, Santa Margherita Ligure
Mediterranea arte contemporanea, Palazzo Florio, Favignana
Stati di pressione, Galleria Monopoli, Milan

2012
Obecono, Depure Art Lab, Galleria Nosedo, Milan
Plast2012, Plastica d’artista, Fiera Milano, Milan
Aspettando Meccanica delle Meraviglie 8, solo exhibition, Isola del Garda
Tecnica mista – Come è fatta l’arte del ‘900, Museo del Novecento, Milan
Progetto di fruibilità di Arte Contemporanea negli spazi dell’Ateneo, group exhibition, BAG – Bocconi Art Gallery, Milan

2011
Fuori! Arte e Spazio Urbano 1968-1976, Museo del Novecento, Milan
Franco Mazzucchelli e Antonio Sammartano, Magazzini dell’Arte, Trapani
Filo a Piombo, BAG Bocconi Art Gallery, Milan
Barocco Severo, ÀCAOS – Galleria civica di arte contemporanea, Acicastello, Catania
Franco Mazzucchelli: Pneuma Dentro e Attorno all’Aria, Galleria Il Milione, Milan

2010
Site Specific Installations, MAGA, Silvio Zanella Gallery, Varese
Anemometro, Museo Diocesano, Milan
PERCORSI DELLO SPAZIO – Arte del ’900 e oltre, Centro Culturale Alitinate, San Gaetano, Padova
Sconfinamenti, Ale Ponzone Museum, Cremona

2009
Art-to-Art, BAG Bocconi Art Gallery, Milan
Ritratti di Geometrie e Giochi d’aria, solo exhibition, Morone Gallery, Milan
Across the Cross, da Michelangelo ai Contemporanei, Sant’Alberto Church, Trapani
Wurmkos Parole, Piazza Pelazzi, Sesto San Giovanni
Noi siamo qui, Triennale di Milano, Milan
Clicking the Cosmos, solo show, Museo Malandra, Vespolate
Solo exhibition, Spazio Cittadini, Milan

2008
GAM! A tutta danza, MAGA, Galleria d’Arte Moderna di Gallarate
Nuove Sinestesie, Premio Suzzara, Mantova
Navigatori dell’Aria e del Magnete,  F. Mazzucchelli, D. Boriani, Mandelli Gallery, Seregno (MI)
Avio Superficie, Cascina Molina, Vespolate

2007
ARTE MITO, La Ferrari nella scultura contemporanea, Maranello, with Ferrari Gallery, Parco Rangoni Machiavelli – Pozza di Maranello, Modena
Art Process, Trapani

2006
Il Faro, Bisogne, Brescia
CittàMorfosi, Casina Grande, Rozzano
Contemporaneo Italiano,  Berlaymont Palace, Bruxelles
Kunsthalle?, Locarno

2005
Intervento Ambientale, Tarcento

2004
BD, solo exhibition, Spazio Rossana Orlandi, Milan
Arte all’Aria, Artisti oltre lo specchio, via dei Mercanti, Milan
Nel Segno della Vita, MAC Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Pavia
Public intervention, Castelo Sforzesco, Milan

2003
Meccaniche della Meraviglia, solo exhibition,  Castello di Puegnago sul Garda
Plastica d’Artista, Leonardo da Vinci Science Museum, Milan
Polimera, Torre Colombera, Gorla Maggiore, Varese
Arte negli Spazi Pubblici, Circolo culturale Bertolt Brecht, Milan

2002
Solo exhibition, Circolo culturale Bertolt Brecht, Milan
Valori e Memorie, Arengo del Broletto, Novara

2001
Solo exhibition, MAC Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Curitiba, Brasil
Public intervention, Via Orefici, Milan
Veleni, Villa Reale, Monza
Labirinto dell’Immaginario, Vasto
Arte da Mangiare, Mangiare con l’Arte, Quinto Cortile, Milan
Sacro e Profano nell’Arte, Broletto di Novara

1999
Daegu-Milano, Daegu, Korea

1998
Proiezioni 2000. Lo Spazio delle Arti Visive nella Civiltà Multimediale, Tredicesima Quadriennale di Roma, Rome
Brera 2000. Nuovi Orizzonti di Conoscenza della Spiritualià del Corpo, Itinerant exhibition, Milan

1997
Installation, Borgoruffoli, Florence
Grado Zero, Milan

1996
Tra peso e leggerezza, Cantù
Pneuenvironment, Arte + Scienza, on the occasion of the event Apriti IED, Milan
Brera Ieri e Oggi, Villa Carlotta, Como

1995
Genovantacinque, International Poetry Festival, Milan
Anni ’90 Arte a Milano, Milan

1994
XXXII Biennale Nazionale d’Arte Città di Milano,  Società per le Belle Arti ed Esposizione Permanente, Milan

1993
La Città di Brera – Boriani e Mazzucchelli Conosfera, Artisti dell’Accademia in mostra, Milan

1992
Art Fence. L’Arte salva l’arte, Rotonda della Besana, Milan

1987
La Base del Mondo e Oltre, Soncino
Quattro Progetti per le Stazioni della Metropolitana Milanese, Milan
Cromosfera, Boriani e Mazzucchelli, Galleria Cenobio – Visualità – Milano
Milano poesia, Rotonda della Besana, Milan

1986
Undicesima Quadriennale di Roma, Rome
Soldi D’Autore, (Baj, Boriani, Cascella, Cavaliere, Pomodoro), D’Ars, Bologna
Galleria IKB Blu Profondo, Galleria Visualità, Milan
L’Obesa, Triennale di Milano, Padiglione Cassina, Milan

1985
Intervento Ambientale, Courtyard of the Brera Academy of Fine Arts, Milan
Tra concettuali e rappresentazione, (Altamira, De Filippi, La Pietra, Lucci, Nagasawa, Staccioli), Palazzo Ricci, Montepulciano

1984
Piramide, Palazzo del Senato, Milan

1983
Intervento Ambientale, Courtyard of the Brera Academy of Fine Arts, Milan

1978
Riappropriazione, Villa Reale, Monza

1977
Post No Bills, Segnali Urbani, Centro Formentini, Milan

1976
Riappropriazione, Manara Cave, Pavia
Riappropriazione, San Carpoforo Church, Milan
37th Biennale di Venezia
Arte e Società, (Mauri, Mazzucchelli), Brera International Center, Milan
Monument to Roberto Franceschi,  (with Cavaliere, Mari, Staccioli, Bonalumi, Boriani, Carrino, Castellani, Somaini), Milan

1975
Scultori d’Oggi al Festival de “L’Unità”,  (with Bonaluml, Boriani, Cavaliere, Colombo, Merz, Penone, Staccioli, Uncini, Zorio), Milan
Public intervention, Sant’Angelo Lodigiano, Lodi
Public intervention, Mede Lomellina
Public intervention, Fontia, Carrara

1973
Volterra ’73, public intervention, Volterra
XV Triennale di Milano, Milan
Franco Mazzucchelli, solo exhibition, Galleria il Gelso, Lodi

1972
Caduta di Pressione, solo exhibition, Il Diagramma, Milan

1971
A. to A., public intervention, Alfa Romeo Factory, Milan
Objecte, Projecte, Plane, Konzept Kunst Aus Italien, (with Agnetti, Boetti, Icaro, Gina Pane, Parmiggiani, Prini, Ontani, Gastini), Galerie Annemarie Verna, Zurich
D, Graphics, (with Baj, Ben, Beuys, Bonalumi), Galleria San Fedele, Milan
A. to A., public intervention, High School of Art, Turin
A. to A., public intervention, Santa Margherita Ligure
Kunst Zone, Munich

1970
A. to A., public intervention, Piazza San Fedele, Milan
A. to A. – Icosaedro, public intervention, S.tes Marie de la Mer
A. to A., public intervention, Lake Como, Como
A. to A., public intervention, Studio 970, Varese
Prospettive 4, in Rome, Ferrara and Reggio Emilia
LP 220, solo exhibition, Turin
Intesa e Protesta nella Segnaletica, (with Agnetti, Alviani, Boriani, Carmi, Colombo, Cruz-Diez, Dadamaino, De Vecchi, Le Parc, Morellet, Nannucci, Soto, Tornquist), Turin
Rassegna San Fedele 1970/1971, (with Ketty La Rocca, Maraniello, Parmiggiani), Milan

1969
Abbandono, public intervention, Varese
Abbandono, public intervention, Bergamo
Abbandono, public intervention, Ozzero
Caduta di pressione, Galleria Diagramma Milan
Abbandono, Galleria Canale, Venice
Rapporto Estetico per il Duemila, (with Alviani, Apollonio, Aricò, Ceroli, Barrucchello, Bonalumi, Dadamaino, Mauri, Nannucci, Tornquist), Varese
Giovani Artisti alla rassegna San Fedele, Galleria San Fedele, Milan
Nuove ormai Vecchie Materie Elaborate Maltrattate Analizzate Trasformate Riinventate,  (with Alviani, Alrman, Boriani, Caroli, Cesar, Cristo, Colombo, Del Pezzo, De Vecchi, Gilardi, Lichtestein, Manzoni, Pascali, Schöffer, Tornquist, Vasarely, Warhol), Cunardo
Co-Incidenze, Massafra, Taranto
Le Due Realtà, Castello di Lerici

1968
Abbandono, public intervention, Crenna, Gallarate
Abbandono, public intervention, S.tes Marie de la Mer

1967
Abbandono, public intervention, Galleria San Fedele, Milan
Abbandono, public intervention, Montessori School, Milan

1966
Nuove Tendenze ( with Martinenghi, Denis-Masi, Tjebbe Van Tijen, Jeffrey Shaw), Galleria San Fedele, Milan
Mostra Internazionale – Premio Rancati, Spoleto

1965
5 European Academies, Ontmoeten Elkaar, Madurodam
Angera 65, Angera
Arts 1965,  (Dudley, Denis-Masi, Van Tijen, Wender, Yamagata), Mantova
Premio Città di Milano, Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Milan

1964
Abbandono, public intervention, Arielle, S.tes Marie de la Mer

Selected Public Collections

Fondazione E.A. Fiera Internazionale di Milano, Milan, Italy

Selected Press and Publications

2020
“The Sculptures of Franco Mazzuchelli” by Mitch Speed on Frieze, August/July 2020. Issue #212, pag. 139
“Unter Eremiten Das Gallery Weekend findet doch statt – im kleinen Format und mit Wiedereröffnungen” by Christian Meixner on Der Tagesspiegel, 2 May 2020, p. 30.
Exhibition catalogue: Svävande utopier (Floating Utopia), Lundskonsthall, ISBN: 978-91-88353-18-4
2018
“Senza perdere la leggerezza: Franco Mazzucchelli” by Mariuccia Casadio on Vogue, 8 August 2018. Issue #816, pag.62
“Franco Mazzucchelli” by Aaron Bogart on Artforum, on the online and printed version of the magazine, Summer 2018
Catalogue: Abbandoni, Franco Mazzucchelli, published by ChertLüdde
Azioni/Actions 1964-1979, Franco Mazzucchelli, published by SilvanaEditoriale, ISBN/EAN:9788836639458
“Die Kunstblase – Mazzucchelli turns Thin Air into Art” by David Jenal on Monopol – Special Issue ART BASEL, pages 36-40, June 2018
“Franco Mazzucchelli / ChertLüdde, Berlin” by Julianne Cordray on Samizdat online, 10 April 2018
“Il lungo respiro dell’arte di Franco Mazzucchelli” by Riccardo Conti on domus, online version of the magazine, 26 March 2018
“Franco Mazzucchelli “Pneuma” at ChertLüdde, Berlin” on Mousse magazine, online version of the magazine, 26 March 2018
2017
“Franco Mazzucchelli Converso / Milan” by Alex Estorick on Flashart, online version of FlashArt, 17 April 2017
“Franco Mazzucchelli at Converso” on Contemporary Art Daily, 29 March 2017
“Franco Mazzucchelli, Riappropriazioni | CONVERSO, Milano” on ATP diary, 24 February 2017
2001
“Franco Mazzucchelli Expõe em Curitiba” by Simone Mattos on Fohla2 – Folha de Londrina/Folha do Parana, published on the printed version of the magazine, 23 July 2001
“Um sopro de criatividade e ousadia sobre as artes” by Larissa Jedyn on Gazeta Mercantil, 19 August 2001
1973
“Volterra ’73: aprire il dialogo con la città” on Corriere della Sera, 2 September 1973
1971
“Mazzucchelli con le sue sculture in plastica cerca di ridare alla gente il gusto del gioco”