Mimmo Rotella, Collage, Untitle 1964
We would like to propose a new voice form the PSL poet, Mimmo Rotella. It is a very interesting artist we are happy to have on the PSL.
From The New York Times:
Best known for collages -- or, as he called them, décollages -- made from old and weathered posters that he stripped off outdoor walls in Rome. He began producing those works in the early 1950's, not realizing that at least two other artists, the Frenchmen Raymond Hains and Jacque Villeglé, had already started to produce similar works collaboratively.
Unlike those artists, who exhibited their torn and layered posters as they came off the wall without alteration, Mr. Rotella applied his appropriated materials to canvases and then developed the compositions further by tearing off pieces. All three artists, as well as a fourth, François Dufrêne, became known as Les Affichistes.
Mr. Rotella's earlier compositions were primarily abstract, but in the early 1960's he began to feature images of movie stars and consumer goods. He also began to experiment with photographic and other processes of reproduction, and he produced three-dimensional assemblages as well, but his work would always revolve around mass media imagery.
In 1960, the French critic Pierre Restany invited Mr. Rotella to join the Nouveax Réalistes, a group that included the other Affichistes as well as Yves Klein, Arman, Jean Tinguely, Daniel Spoerri and others who incorporated real-world materials into their art and thereby laid the foundations for French Pop Art.
Mr. Rotella spent the year from 1951 to 1952 at the University of Kansas City in Missouri, on a Fulbright grant. He had his second solo exhibition at the William Rockhill Nelson Gallery in Kansas City in 1952.Domenico Rotella was born Oct. 7, 1918, in Catanzaro in the Calabria region of Italy. His mother was a well-known milliner. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts of Naples and trained and served reluctantly as a noncommissioned officer in a horse-drawn artillery regiment in World War II. Living in Rome after the war, Mr. Rotella devoted himself to painting and in 1951 had his first solo exhibition, a display of abstract, geometric paintings, at Gallery Chiurazzi in Rome.
In addition to painting, he continued to practice a form of experimental, purely phonetic poetry that he had developed and that he called by the nonsense term "epistaltic" poetry. He made a record of his poetry and gave a performance at Harvard University. When he returned to Rome he came to the conclusion that there was nothing left to do in painting, and he shortly thereafter discovered the materials and processes of décollage.
During the early 60's, Mr. Rotella was included in many Nouveax Réalistes exhibitions throughout Europe, and in 1964 he was the Italian representative to the Venice Biennale. In 1990, some of his early works were included in the "High and Low" exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and in 1994 he was included in "The Italian Metamorphosis," a major survey of post-World War II Italian art at the Guggenheim Museum in New York.
Mr. Rotella is survived by his wife and his daughter, Asya, both of Milan.