Può un’eccellente opera d’arte contemporanea essere ornamentale o decorativa ?
Anyone writing about contemporary art may run into the prohibition of a word, imposed by the artist whose work you are attempting to interpret. In the full-blown climate of the conceptual it was passed on by artists who banned the words “painting” or “sculpture”, subsequently reconsidering them following a broadening of their range. Among the terms still ostracised by literature on contemporary art are ornament and decoration. We rarely find them in an essay and are more likely to hear them in a conversation, employed in the expression of an unflattering opinion. This text asks whether, from the attitudes, feelings and ideas which have stratified over the years, modulating and from time to time re-modulating the concepts in question, we might not extract something that could be profitable to contemporaneity and to which contemporaneity itself could give a new meaning. Observing works created since the post-war period by five Italian artists – Mario Sironi, Pietro Consagra, Giuseppe Capogrossi, Giulio Paolini and Jannis Kounellis – it is proposed to associate, wholly hypothetically, the ornamental or decorative character with an attention aimed at the plural subject, at a community comprising individual, non-hierarchized units, capable of handling the concepts of multiplicity, change, variant, inversion.