Milan, Banca Cesare Ponti presents Numerismi by Adriano Attus at its headquarters in Piazza del Duomo

From May 7 to Oct. 28, to celebrate its 150th anniversary Banca Cesare Ponti presents to the public the exhibition 'Numerismi' by Adriano Attus, artist and Creative Director of Il Sole 24 Ore.

Banca Cesare Ponti turns 150 and celebrates it with an exhibition, Numerismi by Adriano Attus (Sanremo, 1971), artist and Creative Director of Il Sole 24 Ore. An unprecedented project, curated by Rosa Cascone, which stems from the close relationship between the tradition and identity of the bank (a historic Milanese company specializing in private banking that also offers, among others, a dedicated art consulting service) and the contemporary, numerical language of the artist. Produced in collaboration with the Anabasi Cultural Association, supported by the expertise of the art team of Pavesio e Associati with Negri-Clementi, the exhibition brings together a selection of works exemplifying Attus’s production, part of the Neometrie and Numerage series, alongside site-specific installations executed for the occasion. These include the work 150, specially created to celebrate the anniversary of the birth of Banca Cesare Ponti, and the series Planetario Numerico, presented to the public in print and digital NFT format, usable on screens.

The exhibition route runs along the ground floor of the Piazza del Duomo headquarters, among the late 19th-century wooden interiors, and through the shop windows, making the exhibition partly visible from the outside as well, in continuous dialogue with the Piazza and the city.The exhibition itinerary is also conceived in relation to the context of the Bank and its daily activities, offering an unusual enjoyment of the works and the place, not only for Cesare Ponti’s clients, but also for visitors who will have the opportunity to walk through these spaces and the exhibition, with visits by appointment. The dialogue between art and the Bank has distant roots: the Milan branch, where several art exhibitions have been hosted in the past, preserves a number of works of artistic value, including in particular the large canvas by Francesco Hayez entitled Maria Stuarda at the moment she ascends to the gallows (1827). Turning its attention to the contemporary, with the Attus exhibition, today the bank wants to interface with the most current languages.ù

Opening the exhibition are four Neometries (2016), or brightly colored and garish mosaics in which the numerical figure visually disappears to become the multiplicative matrix that allows for the generation of infinite combinations in which each tile is the same and at the same time different from the others. Some Neometries, placed in the window to interact with passers-by, will be modified by the artist over the course of the exhibition, varying in their appearance on a monthly basis, giving rise to an ever-changing perception of the work. The itinerary also features a selection of works from the Numerage series (2014-2015), collages on paper with numbers from 1 to 100 cut out from newspapers around the world, and in the waiting room, it will be possible to interact with some works designed to stimulate and intrigue the public.

Two new works complete the encounter between tradition and innovation within the exhibition: specially created to celebrate the anniversary of the founding of Banca Cesare Ponti, the work 150 (2022) is a large totem made of paper cards, cardboard and magnets depicting the numbers “1,” “5” and “0.” In contrast, the new series Planetario Numerico (2021), also created for the occasion, takes the form of a dynamic explosion of colored dots and lines in which the numbers “1” to “100,” as they come alive, recall constellations or fireworks. The artist uses for this work the medium of NFT (Non-Fungible Token), which is a type of encrypted work whose irreproducibility and authenticity is represented by a closed code (blockchain). This new work brings numbers back to their natural dimension by restoring them to their primal beauty. A kaleidoscope of colors, dots and straight lines in a project that aims to represent all digits from one to one hundred through their figuration. An attempt to give numbers a new aesthetic sense and order in the chaos of information in which we are immersed. By presenting the same work in two different formats, Attus wants to highlight the differences and stimulate critical thinking between physical and digital, between static and moving, between established and experimental, in art as in currency.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a schedule of guided tours and talks, which will allow the public to get closer to the work of Adriano Attus and the most current issues in contemporary art. These will include a special tour organized in collaboration with the FAI Youth Group of Milan, which will provide an in-depth look at the history of Banca Cesare Ponti and the work of Francesco Hayez. Numerismi represents the first event of a larger and more structured project entitled Banca Cesare Ponti Art Projects, a palimpsest of multidisciplinary initiatives designed to open the Bank to the city and create new opportunities for encounters on the themes of art and creativity.

The statements

“The playful character of Adriano Attus’s work,” explains curator Rosa Cascone , “expresses in all his works, making them close, stimulating and comprehensible both to those who already think in numbers and to those who are not yet familiar with this language. Overall, the exhibition will be a continuous exploration and playing with the mind, breaking out of preformed patterns and trying to probe one’s intelligence through the gaze and rules dictated by Attus’ art, thus opening a space to the collective imagination.”

“The commitment to the promotion of culture,” explains Maurizio Zancanaro, CEO of Banca Cesare Ponti, “is a constitutive part of Banca Cesare Ponti’s DNA. Our living room overlooking Piazza Duomo has often hosted cultural and artistic events over the years that, in addition to welcoming our customers, have consolidated our relationship with a city of whose history we are a part. We are therefore celebrating 150 years since our founding with an exhibition that expands from the Bank to the outdoor spaces and the community in which we operate. The Adriano Attus exhibition represents for Banca Cesare Ponti an important moment in which we return to open ourselves to the city, after the limitations due to the pandemic, with a proposal to meet and reflect at a time when these values are as relevant as ever.”

“The exhibition,” adds Marco Vicentini, Head of Institutional Clients and Non-Financial Advisory of the Group, “represents in our intentions the start of a cycle of cultural events, with impact also on the city territory, and a reinterpretation of the use of the physical spaces of the Bank, which pursues, also in this way, its continuous process of renewal.”

The exhibition is open to the public with free admission by reservation required ( Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 2:45 to 4:15 pm. Some of the works are also visible from the exterior windows.

Milan, Banca Cesare Ponti presents Numerismi by Adriano Attus at its headquarters in Piazza del Duomo
Milan, Banca Cesare Ponti presents Numerismi by Adriano Attus at its headquarters in Piazza del Duomo

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