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The Massimo Minini Gallery is happy to announce Robert Barry’s (NY 1936) solo exhibition.

Robert Barry started his research work in the mid-sixties and soon became one of the conceptual art protagonists. His work investigates space and the artistic operational system. The artist’s interest for space is conceived as a consequence of day-to-day life, of our movements, of interaction with the environment; for Barry, it acquires a very personal meaning, which is linked to the concept of ‘mental space’.  While at the beginning the artist showed a preference for ephemeral materials such as gas, electromagnetic waves, nylon yarn and above all for the written word – projected on a surface or printed on invitation cards and sheets of paper – afterwards he started using paintings, videos and materials such as stainless steel, mirrors and granite. Barry always opts for essentiality and formal purity, though he doesn’t reduce his work to simple meaning. His attitude shows a complete openness to the audience who is invited to experience the work of art. Different media have been used to involve the observer and to create an intense dialogue between the audience and the exhibition place.

The project that the artist proposes at the Massimo Minini Gallery is connected with language and the specific space of the gallery: in the main room, words engraved on mirroring surfaces are disposed on the side walls: SOMEWHERE, UNTIL, BEYOND… The open, interrogative character of the terms can suggest meditation, stimulate questions. The second room hosts a video projection, a short black-and-white film shot by the artist on American streets. At regular intervals, some words appear in superimposition.

Barry, like many other artists belonging to the conceptual area such as Lawrence Weiner, Joseph Kosuth, Art & Language, Ian Wilson, considers language to be a fundamental tool and uses it in many different ways. Robert Barry in particular chooses words according to their vagueness and to their evocative power, picking them from a list of about two hundred selected terms.

The artist’s first one-man exhibition at the Massimo Minini Gallery took place in 1980, followed by a second one in 1990. In 2004 he took part in the QU.3 project, curated by Luca Cerizza, together with Tino Sehgal and Ian Wilson.