Curated by Danilo Eccher
General coordination: Enrico and Lorenzo Lombardi

Catania, Fondazione Puglisi Cosentino
2nd October 2016 – 15th January 2017

A colourful world with bizarre characters darting through space and peeping to see if visitors unexpectedly sneer is about to be shown in Catania.  The curator, Danilo Eccher, will explore and describe the extravagant world of Ugo Nespolo during the anthological exhibition ‘That’s Life’.  The exhibition has been designed and promoted by Fondazione Terzo Pilastro – Italia e Mediterraneo and will be held in the halls of Fondazione Puglisi Cosentino from the 2nd October 2016 to the 15th January 2017.

At is seventy-five years old Ugo Nespolo from Piedmont is one of the most unusual exponents of Italian twentieth century painting and this will be his first exhibition in Sicily.  The curator, Danilo Eccher, declares that, “Catania and Sicily must deal the cards again in order to reinterpret this Piedmontese artist and recover important evidence of his exuberance when analysing mathematical logics and dynamic systems, the deep situational irony in a dramatic social crisis that led to works such as ‘Champagne-Molotov’, the giant toys with no metaphysical value and the anagrams and inserts from which he subsequently created figures and landscapes immersed in the explosive atmosphere of Fontunato Depero ”.

The exhibition in Catania will display over sixty artworks belonging to private collections, which the artist created between 1967 and 2016, including approximately thirty drawings, sculptures, installations, designer furniture and rugs and constructions in wood in the characteristic style of this Piedmontese master.  A special section is devoted to experimental films from the nineteen sixties.

In his introductive essay, Eccher states, “When people believe they are very familiar with something, they often discover countless unknown and surprising aspects.  They may believe that they are very familiar with the renowned and widely acclaimed artist, Ugo Nespolo, and be under the illusion that he only performed research on polychrome wood.  However, his artistic career hides abrupt turns, falls and upturns and a dreamlike acrobatic world, which is only perceived in his most famous works.

In Catania we propose to review several unknown pages of the history of Contemporary Art and also reconstruct the complex artistic career of a great and singular exponent of Italian art.  This implies: reconstructing the initial involvement in Fluxus with Ben Vautier and Arturo Schwarz’s exhibitions; rereading Pierre Restany’s reviews; viewing the first experimental films acted by Lucio Fontana and catching the irony and scorn that Nespolo and his friend Alighiero Boetti had in common.  The Sicilian exhibition, held in Catania, aims to remove the interpretative incrustations associated with superficial beauty in order to unearth the wildest ideas and the very personal poetry in Ugo Nespolo’s art.  Nespolo is not an unusual artist he is just more complete.  This is an Exhibition and a strange yet interesting investigation”.

The Chairman of Fondazione Terzo Pilastro – Italia e Mediterraneo, Professor Emmanuele F. M. Emanuele, who promoted the project, declares, “I am sincerely delighted to have made a significant contribution to the accomplishment of this exhibition, which may be considered a retrospective of the cultural and artistic career of my dear friend, Ugo Nespolo.  Although our paths have not crossed for many years, Enrico Lombardi, owner of an art gallery, kindly enabled me to view Nespolo’s works again.  I was deeply moved by the sight of these artworks, which reminded me of the very enjoyable times when I was young in the unforgettable nineteen sixties, when the leading artists were Arturo Schwarz with his beautiful gallery, my dear friend Giorgio Marconi who had just started his career, and the artists who in those days were considered revolutionary, namely Baj, Crippa, Dova, Bertini, Harloff, Tadini Del Pezzo and, of course, Nespolo.

The exhibition contains a series of artworks that encapsulate Nespolo’s entire and diversified artistic career, starting from the sculptures from the turn of the century, his foray into Arte Povera in the early Seventies, the rugs and embroidery from the Seventies and Eighties and his versatile creations from the Eighties and Nineties.  Hence I am thrilled that this comprehensive retrospective on Ugo Nespolo has, as I advocated, been accomplished by the Foundation I chair, both in honour of a long lost friendship, now resumed, and, above all, to demonstrate that in this frenetic ever-accelerating world, the cultural values that impressed me many years ago are still alluring.

The Chair of Fondazione Puglisi Cosentino, Allegra Puglisi Cosentino, says, “Nespolo is capable of ‘bringing art into life’, moving feely between entirely different sectors whilst maintaining his unmistakeable style.  Nespolo is an incredibly versatile artist and in the course of his life he has managed to explore new worlds such as advertising graphics and design, filming, theatre, illustrations and clothing.  His research on art media ranges from materials and supports to various techniques and is always guided by a lucid mind and a flood of colour, which inexorably overwhelms viewers.  A boundless artist who moved away from the traditional types of art, such as painting and sculpture, he dauntlessly faced new challenges and even designed a Swatch, a Campari label and the pink jersey for the Giro d’Italia 2003.  We are delighted to hold this exhibition in the halls of Fondazione Puglisi Cosentino where visitors may be become acquainted with the work of a great exponent of twentieth century art.  The exhibition ‘That’s Life’ has been coordinated by Enrico e Lorenzo Lombardi.  The valuable exhibition catalogue/book, published by Franco Maria Ricci, contains unpublished pictures and documents, which reconstruct Ugo Nespolo’s extraordinary artistic career, and the text written by the curator, Danilo Eccher that also comprises an accurate critical anthology of essays on this master written by scholars and art historians during his long career.


Opening hours
Tuesdays to Sundays: 10 a.m.- 1 p.m.  and 4.30 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Tickets: € 8, reduced € 5.
Information concerning guided  tours and workshops +39 329 45.71.064



UGO NESPOLO. “That’s life”
Curated by Danilo Eccher
Catania | Fondazione Puglisi Cosentino | via Vittorio Emanuele 122
2nd October 2016 – 15th Janualry 2017.

Designed and Organised by
Fondazione Terzo Pilastro – Italia e Mediterraneo |

General Coordination
Enrico e Lorenzo Lombardi

Franco Maria Ricci Editore

Opening hours
Tuesdays to Sundays: 10 a.m.- 1 p.m.  and  4.30 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Closed on Mondays
The ticket office closes one hour before closing time.
Tickets sold in advance online through the Circuito Vivaticket
Special openings are available by booking.

Full price: 8 euro; reduced: 5 euro; Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons 3 euro

Guided Tours and Workshop
Organised by Identitas
Email |
Cell | 329 45.71.064

Information and Bookings
Fondazione Puglisi Cosentino tel. +39 095 7152118

Press Office:
Fondazione Terzo Pilastro – Italia e Mediterraneo
Raffaella Salato e-mail – cell. +39 345 3799190
Francesco Lener (Consenso – HDRA) e-mail  – cell. + 39 349 2806477

Fondazione Puglisi Cosentino
Melamedia di Carmela Grasso e-mail – cell. + 39 349 2684564