Rome, a double-site exhibition traces the career of Bruno Lisi

The Sapienza Museum Complex is hosting a double-site exhibition dedicated to the career of Bruno Lisi, with works from the early 1960s through 2012.

At the venues of the Museum of Classical Art (Jan. 12 - Feb. 25, 2022) and the Museum Laboratory of Contemporary Art (Jan. 12 - Feb. 4, 2022), the Sapienza Museum Complex is promoting an exhibition dedicated to the works of Bruno Lisi (Rome, 1942 - 2012), from the start of his career to the year of his death in 2012. The exhibition is titled Bruno Lisi. Works from 1958 to 2012.

As Francesca Gallo writes in the catalog that accompanies the exhibition, “Lisi’s research-always up-to-date, but slightly out of sync with the fashions of the moment, autonomous and solitary-can be read as a continuum of cross-references and reworkings that from naturalistic details passes through the human figure that is increasingly dissected and observed so closely that it sometimes becomes indecipherable. To descend-metaphorically-under the epidermis and evoke cellular forms in the series Micron (1972) and Untitled (1974).” Since the 1980s, without abandoning his pictorial work, Lisi has gradually moved away from figuration: from blue monochromes, in which a still naturalistic echo lingers, to variations on the linear sign, along a path that, as Marisa Volpi writes in the 1984 interview, is synonymous with freedom and zeroing.

At the Museo Laboratorio d’Arte Contemporanea, Lisi’s work is retraced for the first time altogether in its articulated chronological shell.

At the Museum of Classical Art there is the resumption of a significant segment of that research, such as Segno aperto - an exhibition created by Lisi at the Pino Casagrande Contemporary Art Studio in 2003 - with the free canvases of Segno (1994-1997), Gesto (2000-2001) and Segno aperto (2003-2005) suspended between the walls thanks to the design and installation of Luigi Battisti.

If in the Casagrande Gallery installation the emphasis was, as Patrizia Ferri (2003) writes, on the fragility and lightness of the papers stretched in the air like Buddhist prayer sheets, in the Museum of Classical Art the physicality and color of the painted canvases, not mounted on a frame, prevail, and are exhibited here for the first time. Complementing this part of the exhibition are six large methacrylate sculptures, previously exhibited in 2002 in a memorable installation at Palazzo Brancaccio, curated by Francesco Moschini, and here placed among the museum’s striking plaster statues.

Beginning in the second week of February, the Museum of Classical Art will also host a section of parallel events, The New World: The Contemplative Edge, which Camilla Boemio places side by side and in relation to Lisi’s solo exhibition, exploring the notion of contamination in a broad and conceptual sense, in a dialogue with art history and in a representation of the relationships between artist and audience, body and canvas, the symbolic and the physical. Opening this section will be British artist Mathew Emmett’s St. Sebastian: Plague Memory, an audiovisual performance that reflects on the human search for refuge and protection in the face of fear and violation.

The exhibition, which also marks the scientific collaboration between two departments of Sapienza University of Rome-the Department of History Anthropology Religions Art Performance and the Department of European American and Intercultural Studies-will be accompanied by a catalog presenting Lisi’s artistic research through texts by Camilla Boemio, Patrizia Ferri, Francesca Gallo, Francesco Moschini, Marcello Venturoli, and Marisa Volpi.

For all information, you can visit the official website of the Museum Laboratory of Contemporary Art or you can email

Rome, a double-site exhibition traces the career of Bruno Lisi
Rome, a double-site exhibition traces the career of Bruno Lisi

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