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120 Main Street, Upton MA 01568-6193

For more information or to purchase, please call 1-800-809-3343 or email us at spaightwood@gmail.com

Last updated: 1/25/2017
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Pop Art in the U.S. and Europe: Valerio Adami (Italian, b. 1935)

Adami 1 / Adami 2 / Adami 3 / Adami 4 / Adami 5
Valerio Adami, Joan Gardy Artigas, Richard Avedon, Enrico Baj, Elizabeth Blackadder, Richard Bosman, Christo,
Robert Cottingham, Allan D'Arcangelo, Jim Dine, Robert Indiana, Jasper Johns, Allen Jones, Alex Katz, R. B. Kitaj, Nicholas Krushenick,
Roy Lichtenstein, Richard Lindner, Claes Oldenburg, Peter Phillips, Mel Ramos, Robert Rauschenberg,
Larry Rivers, James Rosenquist, George Segal, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Saul Steinberg, Andy Warhol, John Wesley, and Tom Wesselmann

Adami is recognized internationally as an important European artist. Spaightwood has works from his three major periods of activity. In his early Pop-related works, he offers us views of isolated fragments of modern society in which objects are taken out of perspective and context to allow us to see them anew. These are largely sleek designer-visions of a world with no visible signs of life in it. They were succeeded by a number of works focusing on historic moments and presentations of such heroes of modern culture as Freud, Joyce, and Walter Benjamin, often evoking rather ruefully the world they desired but failed to create. The works of his most recent period are perhaps his most interesting and attractive. They demonstrate his desire, as recounted in an essay in The New Yorker magazine, to reawaken civilization’s desire for a space to dream and to fantasize by revivifying the myths of Western culture and history, peopling his works with characters from Ovidian scenes and other fictive moments that might enable us to once again, renewed, begin the search for the springs of sexuality, desire, beauty, and creativity. Our inventory focuses upon the works of this period, representing the earlier ones mostly by inexpensive large-edition unsigned lithographs as a means of putting the later signed works within the context of his career to date.

The subject of a special number of Eighty, a French journal devoted to the works of the painters of the 1980s, he was also honored in 1985 by full-scale retrospectives at the Centre Georges-Pompidou in Paris and the Communo of Milan. Adami’s first major show in 1962 at the Institute of Contemporary Art in London was quickly followed by an exhibit at Documenta III in Cassel. In addition to representing Italy at the 1968 Venice Biennale, Adami has had major shows at the Institute of Contemporary Art (Boston), the Palais des Beaux-Arts (Brussels), the museums of Caracas, Ulm, Hambourg, Bordeau, Marseille, Charleroi, Mexico, Jerusalem, Siena, Venice, Aix-en-Province, the Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, and many other galleries in Europe and America. He is also the subject of critical studies by Jacques Derrida, Italo Calvino, Jean-Francois Lyotard and others.

Select Bibliography: Valerio Adami & Carlos Fuentes, Valerio Adami (Monaco: Marlborough Monaco, 2002); Valerio Adami, Werke 1976-1996. Frankfurt. 10/1996 (Frankfurt: Museum Bochum. 1996); Dore Ashton, "Searching High and Low" (NY: Marisa del Re Gallery, 1984); Italo Calvino, Vier fabels van Aesopus voor Valerio Adami/ Quatre fables d' Esope pour Valerio Adami/ Quattro favole d' Esopo per Valerio Adami/ Vier fablen von Aesop für Adami (Antwerp: Lens Fine Art, 1981); Pier Giovanni Castagnoli & Roberto Roversi,Valerio Adami à Bologna (Bologna: Stamparte Editrice, 1988); Jacques Derrida, "Le voyage du dessin" (Paris: Maeght Editeur, 1975; reprinted in Derrida's The Truth in Painting, trans. Geoff Bennington & Ian McLeod [Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987], chapter 2); Paolo Fabbri, ed. Valerio Adami. Opere 1990-2000 (Milano: Skira, 2000); Pierre Gaudibert, ed. Adami: Image et Eros Chez Adami. Texts by Pierre Gaudibert, Carlos Fuentes, Alain Jouffroy, Henry Martin, Gérald Gassiot-Talabot (Paris. ARC/Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris); Hubert Damisch & Henry Martin, Adami (NY: Amiel Publisher, 1974); Roger Lesgards, Valerio Adami (Cherche Midi, 1999); Jean-Francois Lyotard, "It's As If A Line..." trans. Mary Lydon (Contemporary Literature 29 [1988)], 454-84; the essay was originally published in repères: cahiers d'art contemporain 6 (Paris, 1983). See also "Anamnesis of the visible, or Candour," The Lyotard Reader (Basil Blackwell, 1989), chapter 12; Adami. Narrazioni mitologiche. Ritratti simbolici. Quadri politici. Quadri letterari (Milano: Museo Mediceo di Firenze, 1996); Octavio Paz, "La ligne narrative," repères: cahiers d'art contemporain 77 (Paris, 1991); J. Zugazagoitia, ed. Adami. Itinerari dello sguardo. Spoleto, Palazzo Racani Arroni 25/6-13/7/1997 (Milano: Electa, 1997).
Bruyere. Original color etching, 1988. 40 signed and numbered impressions on Japon nacré measuring 515x670mm. This is one of a number of works in which Adami revisits stories from classical mythology. Here a man lies in a landscape (which could be read as his bed) reading a book while the sun begins to rise and rabbits graze in the foreground. To his left, a man (Sisyphus?) carrries a boulder up a hill. Published in Paris by Galerie Maeght. Image size: 360x480mm; paper size: 515x670mm. Price: $1250.
Ascension. Original color lithograph, 1984. 100 signed and numbered impressions on Arches paper measuring 910x655mm. An artist (probably from the early Italian Renaaissance, judging from his clothes) carrying a woman whom he has just lifted off a cart looks up at a rocky landscape leading to a forbidding climb to the peak of a mountain; behind him we see a small temple (in his heart? his aspiration?). Perhaps a meditation on the difficulties of achieving the artistic heights; perhaps an allegory of the last difficult journey up the mountain to Paradise or a final resting place. Published in Paris by Galerie Maeght Lelong. Image size: 757x560mm Price: $1500.
Paysage gothique. Original color lithograph, 1983. 75 signed and numbered impressions on Arches measuring 950x652mm. Published in Paris by Galerie Maeght Lelong. The image appears to be based upon a late gothic painting, possibly Veneitian, depicting a helmsman steering a boat out into a bay toward a darkening sky after the sun has set but before night falls. Image size: 762x560mm Price: $1500.
Kiss Me, Stupid! Original lithograph, 1975. 150 signed and numbered impressions in addition to an unsigned poster edition with lettering. Published in Paris by Maeght Editeur. The lithograph shares its title with a Billy Wilder comedy of the same name comedy starring Kim Novak, Dean Martin, and Ray Walston. One of the themes of the movie is that appearances are misleading, often an apt theme for an Adami work. By scratcing out the face of the male figure who has disregarded the injunction to kiss, the possibility exists that the time for kissing has now passed. Image size: 750x548mm Price: $1000.
Hippocrates. Original color lithograph, 1985. 200 signed and numbered impressions on Arches 850x670mm. Published in Paris by Galerie Maeght Lelong. The work . Published in Paris by Maeght Lelong Editeur. Hippocrates was the author of the oath sworn by all doctors beginning, "First do no harm." Unfortunately, until the twentieth century, doctors often could do not good either and the last person a patient saw might well have been his doctor. Image size: 800x605mm. Price: $1500.
Picasso and the Neoclassical Woman. Original color lithograph, 1985. 100 signed and numbered impressions on Arches on Arches paper measuring 850x670mm. Published in Paris by Galerie Maeght-Lelong. The work shows a giant -sized Picasso towering over a wall with a mousehole-sized doorway next to a female figure holding a scythe. In the upper right the sun is setting (as had Picasso). Image size: 760x555mm. Price: $1500.
Still life. Original color lithograph, 1983. 75 signed and numbered impression on Arches paper measuring 1040x760mm. Published in Paris by Galerie Maeght-Lelong. The work shows a sythe extending down from outside an area filled with stars and a painter's palette. Above, we see a more-or-less barren landsacpe above and to the sides of someone holding the blade of the scythe seen from the back. Image size: 910x680mm. Price: $1850.
Carte de visite. Original color lithograph, 1984. 75 signed and numbered impressions. Published in Paris by Galerie Maeght-Lelong. Image size: 317x237mm Price: SOLD

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