Venice, 1956

Maurizio Pellegrin
The Red, The Black and the Other
Galleria Michela Rizzo, Venice

Gestures: Works on Paper
Galleria Marignana Arte, Venice

Also, the Elephants travel to Venice
Oratorio di San Ludovico, Nuova Icona, Venice

Cuarated by Vittorio Urbani

Maurizio Pellegrin (Venice, 1956), an artist of international prominence who has shown in prestigious museums and institutions all over the world and taught in the leading American universities, is back in his native city with three exhibitions at once, subtly separate in the configuration and display of the works, and yet together as in a single project.

The two Venetian galleries, Michela Rizzo and Marignana Arte, both having worked with Pellegrin in the past and also having with him a reciprocal relationship of profound esteem, decided to collaborate not only on this occasion but with a broader and more lasting project aimed at diffusing and distributing together the artist’s work. Alongside the two galleries there is also Nuova Icona with the space of the Oratorio di San Ludovico, a place where Pellegrin has often shown, presenting an installation created for the occasion.

The Galleria Michela Rizzo hosts The Red, The Black and the Other, that features several new works but above all historic ones already shown in important institutions, like for example Transito e Scorrimento (a large mural installation exhibited at Ca’ Pesaro in 2005, on the occasion of the project Isole, that showed works specifically created by Maurizio Pellegrin for all the Venetian museums).
Marignana Arte instead presents the exhibition Gestures: Works on Paper: seven subtle new works on paper in the same series, with objects and acrylic paint, graphite and tempera.

In the twilight of the Oratorio di San Ludovico of Nuova Icona, on the other hand Pellegrin exhibits a large, expressly designed installation that also gives its title to this section of the exhibition: Also, the Elephants travel to Venice.

Maurizio Pellegrin embodies the powerful personality of an omnivorous collector who organizes, catalogues, and gathers objects discovered while he travels all over the world like a modern Marco Polo. He meticulously composes his works made out of clothes, musical instruments, threads and fabrics, black and white photographs and other objects, in keeping with his elaborate and highly personal organizational system, based on iconographies and energies, but also a careful cultural, geographic, and social investigation, combined with his knowledge and passion for ancient civilizations. Numerology, the science that studies numbers and their influence on human life, also plays a central role in the artist’s research: he attributes a number to each object in the installation, representing a quantitative hypothesis of the energy it contains. Pellegrin selects and arranges his series of objects so as to go beyond the idea of mere repetition: objects and materials develop a new hierarchy wherein their former functions are drastically altered, setting up a whole new world of relations, meanings, and dialectic roles.

Maurizio Pellegrin was born in Venice, July 21st 1956, Italy. He lives in New York and Venice.

He holds a Master degree in Art History at Ca’ Foscari University, Venice, at the Faculty of Literature and Philosophy.

He studied Sociology at New School University, and Eastern Philosophy at New York University, New York. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts of Venice, and he holds the equivalent of the American MFA in Studio Art.

Pellegrin was the Dean of the National Academy School at the National Academy Museum and School in New York where he was also the curator of the gallery. He was the Director of the Venice Program Master of Art at New York University and taught Phenomenology of the Arts and Advanced Studio at Teachers College, Columbia University. In addition, he taught Modern Design and Architecture at Rhode Island School of Design.

He is currently the Executive Director and founder of the New York School of the Arts and of the Hub Cultural Center in New York City.

Thanks to his international experience, Pellegrin was appointed in 2017 as Chief Executive of Cultural Affairs at two ancient Venetian Institutions, I.R.E. and Fondazione Venezia. There he has created the program Observatory for the Arts whose objective is to sustain cultural debate, to maintain the Institutions’ historical sites and overall to support life itself in Venice.

Pellegrin’s work has been the subject of more than 150 solo exhibitions and hundreds of group exhibitions in international galleries and museums.  His works are in major private and public collections worldwide.

There is a vast literature on his work. He is the author and subject of more than 30 monographs, and his work has been published in more than 500 articles and essays.