Curated by Ilaria Bernardi and organized with Magazzino Italian Art as a tribute to the 50th anniversary of the Young Italians exhibition held in 1968 at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston and the Jewish Museum in New York, dedicated to young Italian artists at that time, the present group show by the same title at the Italian Cultural Institute in New York offers a similar survey, focusing on young Italian artists today.
Twelve artists under 40 were selected: Davide Balliano, Danilo Correale, Irene Dionisio, Antonio Fiorentino, Silvia Giambrone, Domenico Antonio Mancini, Elena Mazzi, Luca Monterastelli, Ornaghi&Prestinari, Gian Maria Tosatti, Eugenia Vanni, Serena Vestrucci. Some of them still work in Italy, while others have moved to New York; all have shown their work in important exhibitions, have won prizes, and seem to have in common a specific attitude.
In his book Il complesso di Telemaco, Italian psychoanalyst Massimo Recalcati attributes to the new generations the same attitude that characterizes Telemachus, Ulysses’ son, in the Odyssey. Recalcati’s theory can provide a key to interpreting these young artists’ work. Like Telemachus in Ithaca, these artists are faced with a homeland in crisis, whose future is uncertain, but, like him, they want to resist and react, convinced that regaining their own heritage means reacquiring their own future: on the one hand, they appeal to their roots (i.e. Italian art history and its manual side, its techniques, materials, and images); on the other, they act on today’s Italian cultural, social and political situation in order to find alternative solutions to some of its most cogent issues.