The art of Francesco Vezzoli

Francesco Vezzoli (Brescia 1971) lives between Milan and New York.

He primarily works in the realm of the moving image, often starring pop icons or television stars. Vezzoli pursues a strategy of remediation and elaboration of ephemeral media without renouncing citations from classic cinema and sometimes proposing actors and actresses now almost forgotten.

Isa Stoppi, Coppola E Toppo (Omaggio A GianPaolo Barbieri), 2003
Inkjet print on canvas, metallic embroidery
Courtesy of the artist

Tua (Portrait of Dolly Parton after Palma il Vecchio and Ambrosius Bosschaert), 2010
Inkjet print on canvas, metallic embroidery, makeup, needle, artist’s frame
Courtesy Prada Collection, Milan

He has participated to the Venice Biennale on several occasions: the first time in 2001, then in 2005 with a video titled Trailer for a remake of Gore Vidal’s Caligula – revisiting the film Caligula by Tinto Brass and starring, amongst others, Benicio Del Toro and Adriana Asti – and again in 2007 with a video where Sharon Stone and Bernard-Henri Lévy contend for the presidency of the United States. He has also participated to the 26the Biennial of Sao Paulo in 2004 and the Whitney Biennial in 2006.

Remediation and elaboration of ephemeral media without renouncing citations from classic cinema.

Disco Pompidou (Catherine Deneuve), 2018
Inkjet print on canvas, metallic embroidery, paper
Courtesy of the artist

Vezzoli has exhibited in the most important national and international venues: the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York (2002); Castello di Rivoli, Turin (2002); Fondazione Prada, Milan (2004; 2005); Tate Modern, London (2006); Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2007); Kunsthalle Wien (2009); Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2009); Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2009-10); Garage CCC, Moscow (2010).

Minima Idea (Muso Dell’antichità), 2014
Marble Roman torso (ca. I-II century), bronze head
Courtesy of the artist

In 2013 three solo exhibitions have been dedicated to Vezzoli worldwide: at MAXXI Museum in Rome, MoMA PS1 in New York and MOCA, Los Angeles. This three part retrospective titled The Trinity was articulated as follows: a meditation on the relation between the artist and the museum, a focus on Vezzoli's cinema, and the failed attempt to reconstruct a small church from the south of Italy within the New York institution.

In 2017 he has presented TV 70: Francesco Vezzoli guarda la Rai relating to the rich television productions from the 1970s at Fondazione Prada in Milan.

Opening photo: The Eternal Kiss, 2015
Roman heads: woman circa 117-138 A.D., man circa 2nd century A.D.
Restored with white Carrara marble, painted with watercolour,
mounted on a black African marble plinth.
Courtesy Almine Rech Gallery