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Peinture et cinéma dans l'oeuvre de Mimmo Rotella autour de 1960

Abstract : Since its invention, cinema has transformed culture, to the point that studies have recurrently questioned the influence it has had on the thinking of prominent intellectuals, for example on Michel Foucault or Erwin Panofsky. But what of the influence of cinema in the work of artists? Mimmo Rotella (1918-2006), a painter from Calalabria who settled in post-war Rome, and an avid filmgoer with a passion for cinema, evokes a large number of films in a corpus of works produced around 1960: canvases based on movie posters, mostly of popular genres, torn off the city walls. Thus, at this precise time, in the context of the glory years of the Cincecittà studios and a peak of cinema attendance unequalled in Europe, the relationship between painting and cinema took a particular turn, reflecting a broadening of the art to unexpected references. But in embracing cinema, were Rotella's works not in danger of merely being a symptom of an emerging cultural practice, juggling sometimes cultivated and sometimes popular references, something which Hal Foster would later dub nobrow or Richard Peterson omnivorousness, or do they represent a genuine democratisation of art?Articulated around the high point of the 1962 monographic exhibition entitled Cinecittà, the various sections of the thesis illuminate aspects of the work of the artist who introduced cinema into the field of art. Two moments in time – a trip to the United States that diverted Rotella from painting in 1952-53 and a prison stay in 1964 that caused him to flee Italy, distancing him from the Roman scene and subsequently cutting him off from what was happening in Italian art – are critical to the nature and the content of the corpus of works studied.We begin by considering the social and cultural context in which Rotella's artistic act emerged. We then undertake a precise characterisation of the films he chose through the posters to analyse popular cinema's intrusion into art. Then, in the central part, the Cinecittà exhibition is studied from its conception to its reception. The thesis subsequently examines the consequences of this exhibition in the work of the artist, who begins to turn to more recognized films, for example by focusing increasingly on stars. Another aspect of popular culture stemming from cinema then enters the art world, the sociological phenomenon of the fan, although, strangely, no reference is made to Italian cinema, which in that very period was enjoying its golden age. This leads to a reflection on the love of cinema confronted with the conception of “the common man of cinema” as Jean-Louis Schefer puts it.Interspersed with images that appear at the head of the parts and chapters of the thesis, the text of volume 1 discusses the works and describes them with reference to a set of plates in the appendix in volume 2. These incursions into the iconography recall that the works are the source of the entire thesis.Thus the corpus studied is the starting point for a reflection on the way film and media culture were introduced into the Italian art of the 1950s-1960s, while extending beyond this context: it points to how, from that time to the present day, certain media references have constituted the foundation of a common culture shared by the public and artists.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, July 12, 2017 - 9:28:09 AM
Last modification on : Friday, July 17, 2020 - 8:26:36 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Wednesday, January 24, 2018 - 11:02:34 PM


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  • HAL Id : tel-01560822, version 1



Vanessa Morisset. Peinture et cinéma dans l'oeuvre de Mimmo Rotella autour de 1960. Art et histoire de l'art. Université Grenoble Alpes, 2015. Français. ⟨NNT : 2015GREAH037⟩. ⟨tel-01560822⟩



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