efore dying in 1999, Bellora left the management of his collection to his wife, artist Anna Spagna, who in 2003 decided to leave a nucleus of about 140 works on long-term deposit at the Mart.
This overview curated by Giorgio Zanchetti and Daniela Ferrari, provides the opportunity to discover a part of Italian artistic developments of the past 40 years that is still little-known. It concerns those artists attracted by sign and writing who were the protagonists of the major 2008 exhibition at the Mart, “The Word in Art”.
The research of these artists, concurrent and parallel to the fruitful era of conceptual art, began, from the mid-1960s onwards, to prove especially successful in the hands of such artists as Emilio Isgrò, Ben Vautier, Lamberto Pignotti and Gastone Novelli.
Bellora, who trained as a businessman, was in the 1960s “seduced by the visual poetry” of Emilio Isgrò. In 1968, he opened the “Studio Santandrea” gallery and cultural centre in Milan and, between November 1969 and October 1971, began to offer one-man shows of Mimmo Rotella, Gianni Bertini, Bernar Venet and Ben Vautier.
In general, during those years it was thanks to Bellora that it was possible to see artists representative of Nouveau Réalisme and Fluxus in Milan and, after 1970, of verbo-visual research, presented in a setting of constant cross-fertilisation between word and image, which drew artists and critics closer together. Among the artists promoted by Bellora and visible in this exhibition, we find not only Emilio Isgrò, as mentioned above, but also Paul De Vree, Alain Arias-Misson, William Xerra, Lamberto Pignotti, Mirella Bentivoglio, Vincenzo Accame, Alessandro Algardi, Adriano Spatola, Arrigo Lora-Totino and Ugo Carrega.
Curated by Giorgio Zanchetti and Daniela Ferrari