“Raymond Hains, one of the most extraordinary people in my life.”
Remo Bianco (1922–1988) and Raymond Hains (1926–2005) were two protagonists of the artistic scene of the second half of the twentieth century. They were both polyhedric, unclassifiable artists: Hains, usually linked to the Nouveau Réalisme, moved away from it after signing its Manifesto; Bianco, originally close to Spatialism, was a creator of experimental series of works. With their art, these two artists appropriated a rapidly changing reality, reimagining with intelligence and innovation the languages of their restless research.
Although Bianco and Hains never really worked in collaboration, they were linked by a friendship that started at the beginning of the 1960s and lasted until the end of their life. In his autobiographical notes, Bianco defines his friend as “a great painter of our time,” as well as “one of the most extraordinary people in my life.” In 1974, Bianco reworks a photograph showing the two artists dining at a restaurant in Milan – on view at the beginning of this exhibition – turning it into an artwork titled Appropriation of Raymond Hains. A year later, Hains creates Homage to Remo Bianco, a work consisting of fence panels that is reminiscent of his famous Palissades, such as the one on view on this occasion, which once belonged to Bianco himself.
The exhibition presents an unprecedented dialogue between works by the two artists, revealing how they both did not conceive the making of art as creation ex novo, but as an appropriation of objects, people, situations, and facts from reality: Bianco from his everyday life and personal experience; Hains from the urban landscape and the realm of language.