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Recollections: Modern and Contemporary Art's Books and Documents

Thursday 16 July 2020 • Rome


Litografia e disegno - Tinguely, Jean

(Freiburg 1925 - Berna 1991)

V / NR [La Victoire du Nouveau Réalisme] (Milan), (Sergio Tosi), s.d. [November / December 1970], 46.7x33.5 cm.

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Color lithograph with the original drawing of a phallus made by Tinguely in purple felt-tip pen: one of 11 mixed technique plates with handmade intervention by the artist created by Jean Tinguely for the portfolio «La Vittoria» (Milan, Sergio Tosi, 1970) .

Note Specialistiche

The work illustrates part of the project related to Tinguely's "Victory" detonated in Milan's Piazza del Duomo on 29 November 1970, namely the articulation of the fireworks that were to destroy it. Loose copy, unsigned. [Bibliography: Jean Tinguely «The Victory», Milan, Sergio Tosi, 1970: plate no. 2]. In 1970 Pierre Restany and Guido Le Noci, director of the Apollinaire gallery, decided to celebrate, with the assistance of the municipality of Milan, the tenth anniversary of the founding of the Nouveaux Réalistes group. On November 27, ten years after Yves Klein published the single issue "Dimanche November 27, 1960", Arman, César, Christo, Gérard Deschamps, François Dufrêne, Raymond Hains, Martial Raysse, Mimmo Rotella, Niki de Saint-Phalle , Daniel Spoerri, Jean Tinguely and Jacques Villeglé meet in Milan for the inauguration of a large retrospective exhibition at the Rotonda della Besana. Between 27 and 29 November in the center of Milan there were public performances and performances by the artists that attracted the attention of the entire citizenry, accompanied by protests, scandals, boycotts. Christo planned to package the statue of Vittorio Emanuele II in Piazza Duomo but was hindered by a group of ex-combatants; folded over the statue of Leonardo da Vinci in Piazza della Scala, but the packaging material was burnt by a neo-fascist group; Arman distributed mini accumulations of waste in plastic bags, César made one of his expansions, Niki de Saint Phalle performed one of his shooting sessions with the rifle, Rotella had to struggle with numerous contestants to paste his torn posters in via Formentini, etc. . The pinnacle was on the evening of the 29th, the last day of the exhibition and the date set to reveal a mystery: from day 27, to the amazement of the citizens, an enormous structure covered with a purple tarpaulin had appeared on the Piazza del Duomo in gold letters the letters "NR". On the evening of 29 Jean Tinguely removed the purple cloth that hid his work «La Vittoria» from the public: a giant golden phallus that exploded in the night sky of Milan, amid fireworks, smoke and sparks, destroying itself in less than three quarters of time: the «V» ictoire du «N» ouveau «R» éalisme. The anniversary of the Movement was in fact also his official funeral: for the first time in history an artistic movement had decided the date of its extinction, with a Last Supper or a funeral banquet at the Biffi restaurant - an extinction that alone, futuristically, could coincide with his "victory", in fact.

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