Giuseppe Chiari, Una Tromba da Carnevale, Silkscreen on cloth, 150 × 150 cm
Courtesy of Archivio Conz, Berlin
1 / 2
  • Silkscreen on cloth
  • 150 × 150 cm
    (59 × 59 inches)
  • Inquire
  • Giuseppe Chiari was an experimental composer and painter based in Italy. He studied piano and composition at Florence University while pursuing a degree in mathematical engineering. He soon became interested in the experimental research of visual music, influenced by John Cage. In 1961, he co-founded Vita Musicale Contemporanea together with Pietri Grossi—one of the first Italian associations dedicated to new music. Together with artists such as Eugenio Miccini, Ketty La Rocca, Luciano Ori, and Lamberto Pignotti, Chiari was an active member of the Florence-based Gruppo 70. Based on Max Bense’s aesthetic theories, the group proposed forms of expression formulated on new techniques of composition, based on the potentization of language through the synergy of different linguistic codes of mass communication. Chiari had been a contributor to the Fluxus movement since its early stages, participating in the “Fluxus Internationale Festspiele Neuester Musik” in Wiesbaden in 1962. He began to compose scores of signs and words rather than note sequences. This paradigm shift, combined with his early support of Fluxus, inspired him to translate music into gesture, color, and image in painted and collaged scores in the realm of so-called visual music. Chiari also worked on complex musical pieces, such as Gesti sul Piano (1980), founded on gesture and action. His performances are based on the interrelation of traditional instruments and aleatory sound elements, enhancing the freedom of expression and the concept of indeterminacy of art making, as in the instructions for Lavoro (1965). Beyond his musical and performance production, he was also the author of so-called “statements,” such as Tutte le opere sono opere (1972) and Kunst ist einfach (1973), where he focused viewers’ attention on the paradoxes created by definitions and conventions associated with the art world. In addition to major group exhibitions, such as documenta 6 in Kassel (1972), the Biennale di Venezia (1972, 1976, 1978), and the Biennale of Sydney (1990), Chiari’s works have been exhibited in various museums around the world, including the Centre d’Art Contemporain in Geneva (1979) and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago (1993). Retrospective exhibitions include the Fluxus Biennial project in Rome, curated by Achille Bonito Oliva in 2011, and the XVII Quadriennale di Roma in 2020. His works can also be found in the Musée Cantonal d’Art de Lugano and The Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Artworks (3)