Corrado Levi

<------ Quasi, autoamori di Johnny------> e <------ Una poesia ------>

Corrado Levi is a polyhedric figure: architect and teacher, theorist and critic, curator, freethinker and refined intellectual. Still, Levi is mainly an audacious and surprising artist. His complex language and creativity are a perfect combination for the numerous experiences that the artist has gathered, made his own, and finally, given back to generations of artists. In the text he defines “Curriculum written by the very himself”, he talks about himself as “He was born in Turin, lived in Milan, was Saint John by Franco Albini, taught sophisms at the Faculty of Architecture in Millan, wrote of art and love, attended to young artists in Milan and New York, loved the contingency, the paradox, the nothing. Lived again”. Since the early 80′s Levi has been an influential cultural animator especially in Milan, where he transformed his studio on Via San Gottardo through a series of solo and group shows into a space for experimentation for young artists that made it the first project-space in town. For this reason, a space like Peep-Hole also owes its existence to a figure like Corrado Levi. This exhibition is a way to return, even though minimally, what he has done for alternative spaces and young artists. But as an homage to his having “lived again” and pointing up his congenital propensity towards the future, the show intends also to highlight the spirit of a tireless experimenter and the youthfulness of an artist who is still able to renew himself over time.

Invited to interact with the physical space, Levi presents Quasi, autoamori di Johnny e Una poesia (Almost, Johnny’s self-loves and A poetry). A new project, exhibited here for the first time, around the relationship between eroticism and form, two of the main focuses of his artistic research: “Eroticism is something unstable; it requires mental and physical movement. It ends and is renewed again, as if it were timeless. The object of the show is pure eroticism: without Oedipus, it is a metaphor for a futile but indispensable pleasure. The form is the other pole: it tends to be and communicate essence and hope of the permanence.” (C.L.)

Each hanging from a thread, going diagonally across the room, 28 drawings trace in the space a line that is also a “sign”–as a fragment and as a totality. Each sheet presents an abstract image on the recto and annotations on the verso. Text and image thus alternate and run one after each other in a double register. The drawings seem to have a calligraphic nature, and the writing becomes drawing as journal pages with images ending where words begin, and vice versa. The same idea of abstraction recurs into the wall poetry. The three sentences composing it are in a way clues about where Corrado Levi refers to an untold story, giving back an image of himself characterized by the same lightness he has always loved and researched.

01. Corrado Levi, <------ Quasi, autoamori di Johnny------> e <------ Una poesia ------>
Exhibition view

02. Corrado Levi, <------ Quasi, autoamori di Johnny------>, 2004 (detail)
28 drawings
Courtesy the Artist

03. Corrado Levi, <------ Quasi, autoamori di Johnny------>, 2004 (detail)
28 drawings
Courtesy the Artist

04. Corrado Levi, <------ Una poesia ------>
Courtesy the Artist