On May 27, Galeria Zé dos Bois will open La Révolution R.S.V.P., Pablo Echaurren’s first solo exhibition in Lisbon. The exhibition aims to introduce the artist’s multifaceted practice, especially that related to the counterculture movements in Italy in the 1970s, to the Portuguese and international public.
La Révolution R.S.V.P. brings together a large selection of works on paper — drawings, collages, fanzines — as well as paintings, assemblages and dioramas, from the artist’s archive in Rome, some of which are shown for the first time.
One of the main focuses of the exhibition is represented by Echaurren’s works from 1977-78, which corresponds to the time when he decided to abandon his career in the “arts” to serve in the “Indiani Metropolitani” group — the creative current of the political movement of 1977 — in which the artist’s name dissolves into the collective and committed dimension.
Creator of fanzines such as Oask?! and Il complotto di Zurigo, his sign, that mixes illustration and writing, cultured quotation and splatter incursions in the name of irony and taste of the absurd — aimed at a disenchanted and ironic depiction of reality — extends to the covers of books, to fanzines, newspapers such as Lotta Continua, graffiti, graphic novels and in hundreds of posters.
The selection of works by Echaurren presented at ZDB highlights the specific and intriguing process of taking inspiration from official high culture and translating it into the everyday language, twisting it provocatively and scurrilously, through a sophisticated use of paradox and the blague.
The exhibition extends beyond the 1970s to recount Pablo Echaurren’s complex artistic journey, from his beginnings in 1969-70 with ink drawings emulating Baruchello’s pulviscular language, to his recently produced assemblages inspired by new discoveries about Neanderthals, passing through canvases, collages and painted papers dated between the 1980s and 2000s.
Among these key themes are: the Futurist poetics of “Parole in libertà”, the thought of Marcel Duchamp, Francis Picabia’s bachelor machines, the blending of codes, registers and semantic fields, the fascination with prehistory, the Situationist drift and sense of estrangement, the transformation of language almost according to an alchemical process, the revolution of communication, the critique of the monetization of art.
It is to this “gentle” revolution that the invitation of the title, La Révolution R.S.V.P., addressed to all of us refers. The invitation to think against the tide, outside the box and sharpen one’s critical spirit, which transpires from a work that resorts to a sense of estrangement and ironically questions any statement, is still relevant and viable today.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a program of film and documentary screenings, curated by Luciana Fina. The full program will be announced soon.
Project supported by the Italian Council (11th edition, 2022), the program aimed at supporting Italian contemporary art in the world promoted by the Directorate-General for Contemporary Creativity within the Italian Ministry of Culture.