Glenda Cinquegrana Art Consulting is proud to present
Opening: Thursday, October 5th, 2023, 6:30 PM
From October 6th through November 18th, 2023.
From Tuesday to Saturday, from 3 pm to 7 pm
Glenda Cinquegrana Art Consulting is glad to present the show Sarenco is Alive: Long Live Avant-garde! dedicated to one of the leading figures of Visual Poetry. The show presents twenty works by the master from Brescia, with the aim of depicting Sarenco as a total artist, i.e. a poet, a writer, a publisher, a film director at once, capable of interpreting Visual Poetry, in Achille Bonito Oliva’s words, as a total word and a total sign expressing the need that art has to tend towards an expression of presence, and not of strict absence, to state constructively and not to deny the structurer, in the dynamics of creation, which is becoming more and more conflictual with the world. The show gives a tour of Sarenco’s production through a core of works from the 1960s and 1970s, alongside a further batch of works from the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s. Sarenco stands out as a heroic figure of warrior engaged in renewing society using the poetic word. In the 1980s, the reflection on the need for a social war, which the artist promotes, gives way to some more reflexive research. In the years 2000, after numerous journeys in Africa, his vision becomes strongly pro-Africa: Sarenco is interested in the characteristic cultural elements of the Black Continent, of which he discerns the future impact on Western Europe. His figure as an artistic and cultural agitator is still fascinating today for the versatility of the themes in his research, which the exhibition Sarenco is Alive: Long Live Avant-garde! wants to convey in its many facets.
After joining Gruppo 70, a visual poetry movement led by Eugenio Miccini, Lamberto Pignotti, at the beginning of the ‘70s, Sarenco, together with Paul De Vree, establishes in Brescia the review Lotta Poetica (Poetic Fight), which soon becomes a circle around which the First International Group of Visual Poetry in Italy meets: they are the so-called International Group of the Nine, consisting of Marcucci, Miccini, Ori, Perfetti, Sarenco, together with Belgian Paul De Vree, French J.F. Bory, Dutch Damen, and Belgian American Arias-Misson. According to historiography, through Sarenco’s incessant work, Visual Poetry changes from a specifically Italian avant-garde into an international cultural movement, within a European triangle ideally connecting Florence, Brescia, and Antwerp.
Despite the current dynamics in the market, Visual Poetry remains one of the most important Italian avant-garde after World War II, capable of developing an independent reflection on language, which, for the first time, becomes an artistic and poetic tool with its own revolutionary strength. By tapping into the bases of the historical avantgardes of Futurism and Dadaism and focusing on the language of the present, Visual Poetry concentrates on expressive means as a tool of verbal and visual communication. As Allegrini writes in the catalogue’s text, the Visual Poet taps into material that comes from our everyday culture, such as advertising, newspaper headlines, and picture stories, i.e., material that is widely known and digested by mass media. The poetic gesture is an act of rupture and profound criticism of the constant trivialization of language that the mass-media world carries out to implement its communication processes: starting with the awareness of the stereotypical character of media communication, the work of Sarenco is a constant act of reassignment of meanings to language to transform it into poetry, which is all that we have against trivialization, such as the triumph of artistic individuality. Sarenco in this field was a warrior, a poet, and a master in his disorienting and ironic use of language.
 quoted in Visual Poetry, L’avanguardia delle avanguardie. Mezzo Secolo di Poesia Visiva, Poesia concreta, Scrittura Visuale, (The Avantgarde and the Avantgardes, Half a century of Visual Poetry, Concrete Poetry, Visual Writing) curated by G. Allegrini and L. Vinca Masini, Skira, Milan, 2014, in Allegrini G., La Poesia Visiva, p. 34