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09 June 2022 - 19 March 2023, VILLA MALPENSATA, LUGANO

ROBERTO CIACCIO. Origin as a gift

MUSEC continues its study on the origins of creativity with a project dedicated to Roberto Ciaccio
The theme of the origin crosses the whole trajectory of the work of the Italian artist who passed away in 2014, in an ideal dialogue with the philosophical thinking of Heidegger. 
In Ciaccio’s work, the study of the mystery of the origin is linked to the exploration of the possibility of monochrome art: monochrome that is only apparent, given the overlapping of continuous applications of colour, in which the figure is hidden and is revealed beyond the image.
This exhibition, curated by Silvia Ciaccio with the collaboration of Nora Segreto, and hosted by the Spazio Cielo of Villa Malpensata (the seat of MUSEC), traces Roberto Ciaccio’s work in search of the origin of the work of art, and does so with around forty works, made between 1990 and 2013. These consist of large iron and copper sheets and ink, which were then acidified and oxidized, as well as of large chalcographies on paper. “Quasi places” where the artist gathered the traces of time, his thoughts, and his experiences.
Roberto Ciaccio’s research is related to a pathway of meditation. The metal sheets, the sheets of paper, the work materials offer their memory in the present: theirs is a suspended time in the dimension of the enigma and the fixedness of becoming; they offer their memory in the opening of the constant process of thinking and feeling. The contemporary is the time that protects and offers his memory. Ciaccio’s works focus on spatial, perceptive, and chromatic experiences rigorously essentialized, and for this reason, highly conceptual.


Roberto Ciaccio was born in Rome on January 2, 1951. His artistic and personal life were indissolubly linked to Milan, where he spent most of his life. In Milan he earned a degree in Political Science at the Università Cattolica with a senior thesis on the aesthetic nature of the psychosocial genesis of the work of art. His passion for music and philosophy accompanied his passion for art, which he began to work on during his university years. Starting from the 1980s his works were oriented towards pictorial abstraction of an intensely conceptual nature. The specificity and the uniqueness of Roberto Ciaccio’s works, those of an intellectual drawn to the complexity of research in interdisciplinary terms (philosophy, music, poetry, architecture), placed him in the vast panorama of contemporary art.
Among the many people who spent time in the artist’s Milanese studio at Porta Nuova, stimulating his intellectual and artistic research, were the philosopher Remo Bodei, the sociologist and scholar of art Pietro Bellasi, the art historian Arturo Schwarz, the gallerist Giò Marconi, the engraver and printmaker Giorgio Upiglio, the poet Tomaso Kemeny, and the pianist Antonio Ballista. 
Roberto Ciaccio passed away on 26 November 2014, after a short illness.


Ritratto Ciaccio

Roberto Ciaccio in his studio. ©Archivio Roberto Ciaccio

The catalogue

"Roberto Ciaccio. Il dono dell’origine", curated by Silvia Ciaccio with the collaboration of Nora Segreto (MUSEC), is published by Edizioni FCM (Fondazione culture e musei), and is the third volume in the series called Minimalia (208 pp. ISBN 979-12-80443-16-8. CHF 35). 

The catalogue includes introductory texts from the Archivio Ciaccio (Ad originem) and by Francesco Paolo Campione (Ab origine); the essays of Carsten Juhl (L’arte e lo spazio) and Silvia Ciaccio (Un colore solo. Poetiche del monocromatismo) and an artistic biography of Roberto Ciaccio reconstructed by Maria Pia Ciaccio (Racconto di una vita). The volume ends with the images of 56 of Roberto Ciaccio’s works (including a series of 8 screen prints) and a list of the artist’s exhibitions.


Cover Catalogo Ciaccio