The Fondazione Marino Marini is pleased to present the exhibition Rigore e libertà – All’origine del gioiello contemporaneo (Rigor and freedom – the origin of contemporary jewelry), curated by Marco Bazzini. The show displays rings, necklaces and bracelets created by three of the most internationally-esteemed Italian jewelry artists: Mario Pinton, Francesco Pavan and Giampaolo Babetto.
The exhibition is part of a cycle that aims to explore the art of important figures who had friendships or shared fundamental periods of artistic experimentation with the great Pistoiese sculptor.
The young Mario Pinton (Padova 1919 – 2008) was a student of Marino Marini’s at the Istituto Superiore Industrie Artistiche (ISIA) in Monza, and over time came to acknowledge his teaching as a fundamental experience in re-thinking jewelry as a true art form.
In fact, in the 1950s Mario Pinton was one of few European artists – along with the German Hermann Junger and the Swede Sigurd Persson – who picked up on the idea of “making jewelry” as “making art,” and thus set out on a new path that was not tied solely to jewelry making, but was integrated with the manifold expressions of contemporary art.
Some characteristics shared by the three artists selected for the exhibition are purity of form, a belief that materials can inspire artistic efforts, and balanced proportions mediated by a knowledge and application of geometry. These common characteristics, which in no way negate the unmistakable autonomy of their respective works, are for Francesco Pavan (Padua 1937) and Giampaolo Babetto (Padua 1947) once again rooted in the maestro/student relationship they had at the Istituto d’Arte Pietro Selvatico in Padua.
Springing from the simplicity and quality evident in Mario Pinton’s work, as well as that of Pavan and Babetto, the exhibition illustrates – with a wide array of works including jewelry from the early 1950s up to the present – one of the points of origin, and subsequent development, of the variegated phenomenon that is contemporary jewelry. It is a story too-often overlooked, which the exhibition aims to bring to the public’s attention, underscoring for the first time Marino Marini’s role in this evolution.