Space oddities. Immaginario spaziale e arti visive a Roma, 1957-1969
In 1957, the Soviet Union launched the earth’s first artificial satellite, Sputnik I. The launch inaugurated the
Space Age, a new frontier for both scientific explorations and geopolitical stances in the Cold War years. The interest of Lucio Fontana and Yves Klein for the “space aesthetics” is well known, but they were not alone in their fantastic projections. The immense appeal of this new dimension of human action can be found in the works by the Roman-based artists Gastone Novelli, Achille Perilli, Giulio Turcato, Mario Schifano, Fabio Mauri. These artists respond to the suggestion of the outer space with experimental attitudes and visual strategies, paying homage to the avant-garde (Novelli and Perilli); drawing an arabesque from the first images of extra-vehicular activity (Schifano); inventing the moon either as a pictorial surface (Turcato) or as an inhabitable space (Mauri).