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Lorenzo Marini, a household name in Italy’s advertising industry, started a new art movement in Milan that is now attracting a lot of attention at the LA Art Show.
In Milan, Italy, in October of 2016, Lorenzo Marini established the “Type Art” movement. Letters are regarded as worthy artistic subject matter by his Manifesto, with the same value as a portrait or landscape. This idea is not new in the Eastern calligraphic art tradition, where students and masters have used brushwork to create handwritten characters for a long time. However, the Western mind has associated the art of language with the “low arts” of advertising and graphic design. In earlier canvases from the Alphatype series, Chinese lettering serves as a secondary theme alongside the Latin and Roman alphabets.
Lorenzo Marini, a bicoastal, binational “Type” artist, revealed “Raintype,” his latest evolutionary step, a delightful, immersive, whimsical, yet sophisticated translucent alphabetic mobile/installation that Bruce Lurie Gallery presented at the 2023 LA Art Show. This shattered such Western bias. The LA Art Show will take place from February 15 to February 19 in the West Hall of the downtown LA Convention Center, which is right next to the Crypto.com Arena.
While Marini’s early two-dimensional works and installations show letters held together by flatness and trapped in an interpenetrating grid, in Raintype the grid takes on the elements of space and time associated with a hologram rather than a map or composition block.
The effect of colorful ABCs printed on clear rectangular shapes hanging in the air like raindrops in the middle of a rainy day evokes not only a child’s room, but also the child’s fascination with abstraction and aesthetic elements of language. As a child, before you can fully understand or learn to master the nature of language, you can begin to learn to print. First he familiarizes himself with the letters, for example by hanging over a crib or singing the cartoons on television. As a child, one might have wondered, at least subconsciously, why what Marini calls the “slavery” and “duty” of the letters was necessary.Marini said that letters are our regressive world, our first contact with codified knowledge, and the related project is a bridge that accompanies us in establishing communication. However, he added that just as animals are not our food, letters are not our slaves.
The elegant, clean, textural and graphic design of Marini’s alphabetical forms references Warhol and the Pop Art movement that emerged in the mid-1950s. Like Andy Warhol, Lorenzo Marini, born in Monselice in 1958, began his career in the business art world . After studying architecture in Venice in 1980, Marini found employment in powerful advertising agencies such as Ogilvy and Leo Burnett.In 1997 Marini founded his own company, Lorenzo Marini & Associati with offices in Milan, Turin and New York.
Lorenzo Marini’s commercial artist and business success were not enough for him. Like all great artists, he felt compelled to create art without commercial constraints. Marini worked secretly for twenty years, which is interesting. He only sought a public audience for this work in 2014. It was a sensational response. An anthology exhibition of his work from the previous two decades was held by the Province of Milan following his initial public appearances as an artist in Miami and New York.
Within a short period of time, he amassed an impressive number of exhibitions in European museums (Padua, Florence), international art fairs (Venice Biennial, Art Basel), and critical acclaim. For example, critic Peter Frank praised Marini’s “generosity of spirit” and described his work as “approachable and appealing.”
A previous Lorenzo Marini installation at the 2020 Los Angeles Art Show, AlphaCube, plays with the history of the “white cube” in Modernist art. In his 1976 essays, Artforum critic Brian O’Doherty argued that the gallery space had “a presence possessed by other spaces where conventions are preserved through the repetition of a closed system of values.” This term entered the post-modern lexicon. A one-of-a-kind chamber of aesthetics is created by combining chic design with a portion of the sanctity of the church, the formality of the courtroom, and the mystique of the experimental laboratory.
He turned the value system inside out and created a wall-to-wall wallpaper effect of ordered but random letters on the inside of a separate cube. In response, Marini fans took selfies inside the cube. In contrast, visitors to “RainType” are encouraged to play rather than pose and regain some of their innocent wonder.
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