Lorenzo Pezzatini (Florence, 1944) is an Italian artist who lives and works in Florence, Italy. In 1977 he created an object he named the “Filo”, which serves as the signature element of his work and the nucleus of his multi-faceted artistic practice.
August 1945 – Viareggio – With an American soldier of the Buffalo Division
Lorenzo Pezzatini was born in Florence on July 5, 1944.
After studying accounting and working as a salesman for several years, in 1974 moved to the U.S.A. to enroll in the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He graduated with a BFA in painting in 1978 and an MFA in sculpture in 1981.
In 1977 made “The Last Painting”
as a final farewell to painting on canvas and he created the Filo, an object in the form of a filament or strand made of blue, yellow, and red acrylic paint punctuated by small vertical outgrowths in the same alternating primary colors. Since its creation, the Filo has remained the generative cell, central medium, and symbol of Pezzatini’s artwork. The artist’s dedication to the manual execution of the Filo, his attention to the process, and his interaction with public constitute the foundation of his artistic research.
In 1977 his first show titled “A Bridging Statement” took place at the Student Union Gallery of the University of Massachusetts. A tunnel installation realized with 1.000 meters of Filo built in six months.
FROM THE CATALOGUE OF THE SHOW “A BRIDGING STATEMENT”
What I m basically doing is building a line, spitting a web, that will allow me to join two points. In creating my web I consider it very important to perform an infinite number of small evets that repeat and give life to a long-infinite sequence. Every event takes place exactely where “it should be” (on the preexisting line) but yet is charged with all the elements of the “act of doing it”.
I’m interested in interacting with the environnement and activating it with a long multi-pointed line. I’m thus concerned about an experience of art that grows out of my daily activity, and that also has the possibility of being extremely mobile and in some way experienced by other people through my personal interaction. It can be a question of an interior-exterior space, a group of people, or myself and all these elements, but what counts in the end is that daily experience of the act of making it can eventually become “really” meaningful.
In that way I have at hand a never-ending ideal web-bridge that reaches beyond the object itself to wathever it is out there.
Lorenzo Pezzatini September 2, 1977
“Nel Frattempo” – Text/interview by Ida Panicelli from the catalogue of the show/Artist in Presence FIL-OSO-FO’-FIL – Turin 1983
I do not use acrylic colors (plastic matter) as normally does the industry that is creating the form by extrusion in a mold that presupposes the existence of a design project. I use this technogical matter broadly called plastic (a key product of modern time) in a sort of pre-industrial way. I use it to give life and set the accumulation of mini-forms on an indifferentiated continuum: the basic thread of Filo: a sort of pointillism of time.…As a sort of virtual time the Filo expresses the much big as well as the much small. As factual time it has been intimately connected to my way of being in the world.
Since 1979 Pezzatini has executed numerous projects in the USA and Italy under the title Artist in Presence: Galleria Comunale d’Arte di Cagliari, Brookline High School, Brookline, Massachusetts
Computer Science Center, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut; Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Madison Wisconsin; Casa del Mantegna, Mantova; Centro per l’arte Contemporanea L. Pecci, Prato. He has also performed Artist in Presence projects as commissions for the cities of Turin, Alessandria, Carpi, Pontedera, Prato, Firenze, Merano, Bregenz, and Kassel. In 1988 Pezzatini was awarded a Fulbright Grant as a resident scholar at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis during which he performed an Artist in Presence project at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota
While living in Rome in 1982 Pezzatini began a series of interventions on 6×3 meter billboards entitled Filografia Urbana-Urban Filography, which he continued in Florence throughout the nineties, 2000s, and is ongoing today. In 1999 he realized a project for the Museo Pecci and the city of Prato named Filo Eventi-Filo e Venti. American director Jonathan Nossiter made the documentary film Losing the Thread – Perdere il Filo (produced by Sylvi) about Filo Eventi-Filo e Venti and Pezzatini’s life, work and his relationship with the city of Florence.
In 1987 Pezzatini first exhibited his Spille-Antigioiello in Rome, followed by shows in Naples, Genoa, Turin, New York, and Florence. The series Anti-gioielli was featured in the book Gioielli d’Artista in Italia dal 1945 al 1995 (Electa, 2005) and in the Dizionario del Gioiello Italiano del XIX e XX secolo (Allemandi, 2005). In 2001 the series was part of the large group show Immaginazione Aurea curated by Enrico Crispolti at the Mole Vanvitelliana in Ancona.
Pezzatini has also presented numerous performances and installations in conjunction with the Artist in Presence projects, such as Excrecenses at Villa Romana in Florence in 1979, Natura Morta part of the project Piazza Filo D(f)fuso commissioned by the city ofCarpi in 1981, Autofiloritratto and Filoguardia in 1993 and 1995 at the Gardens of the Venice Biennale, Illuminated Cyclist at the Court in the courtyard of Palazzo Pitti in Florence in 2003, Homage to Krefeld in 2006 at the Kulturbanhof in Kassel, and Cosmatesca for the Fondazione SENSUS in Florence in 2014.
In 2006 the Centro per l’Arte Villa Pacchiani of S.Croce sull’Arno, Pisa, presented his work in a retrospective exhibition entitled Lorenzo Pezzatini – Opere Installazioni Performances Artist in Presence 1977-2006. The accompanying catalogue featured texts by Enrico Crispolti, Manlio Cancogni, Ida Panicelli, Bruno Corà, Francesca Rigotti, Maria Nadotti, Joachim Burmeister, Stefano Pezzato, Roberto Piumini e Giandomenico Semeraro.
From 1997 to 2017 Lorenzo Pezzatini taught Advanced Painting and since 2000 directed the Post-Baccalaureate Program at SACI (Studio Arts College International) in Florence, where he was honored with the solo exhibition Avventure della Differenza/Adventures of Difference in January 2018.
The relationship with his students and the many Filo extimators encouraged him to curate a first FILO of the OTHERS show in 20012 and a second one in 2018
In 2019 with the title WOVEN TEARS he realized a site specific project for MURATE PAC Progetti Arte Contemporanea in the panopticum of the former Murate prisons. The space transformed itself alluding to a possible airy and lighter “way out” .