Massimo Bartolini “Atlante Occidentale, Daniele Del Giudice, Einaudi Tascabili, 1998, p. 78″ at Magazzino, Rome

My Seventh Hommage: La montaigne (detail)
Courtesy Magazzino


Magazzino presents Massimo Bartolini’s fifth solo exhibition at the gallery. Following his exhibitions in 2002, 2004, 2009 and 2014, this show focuses on new works, especially created for this occasion.

Titled Atlante Occidentale, Daniele Del Giudice, Einaudi Tascabili, 1998, pag.78,  the exhibition deliberately starts with the typical footnote formula, as an approach to compare things, and reference some other “place”. This reference is in itself a container, for a “Western Atlas” in the show already exists–the works in the exhibition feature symbols and signs that are typically Western, albeit cast into embarrassment by a presence/absence contradicting their form and amplifying their meaning.

The presence/absence element, spanning the physical and the metaphorical, is the Bodhisattva, a Buddhist figure who renounces divinity in order to teach men the path towards divinity; that very path he abandoned himself. As Bartolini writes, a condition “that seems a contradiction more than sacrifice; a voluntary gesture of incompleteness, a lack which is ‘necessary’ to establish a distance from total–therefore mute–participation.”

The Bodhisattva is a Master, a wandering master who shares a number of characteristics with another figure: the stylite. Through a form of rigid physical immobility, the stylite becomes an architectural feature. Bartolini alludes to a confrontation between two teachings: one associated with the invisible, as something to be assumed with the experience of faith; the other reached through logical and methodological exercise. This allusion becomes a confrontation, in which the former can occasionally disappear in the latter.

By returning to the title of the exhibition and following its coordinates, we arrive at the quoted passage in Daniele Del Giudice’s book: “Having no need to tell is the only thing that fractures the felicity of seeing beyond form.” Bartolini himself explains: “The Bodhisattva stops at form because his function is to tell others what, from close up, may be intuited beyond form. I admit to a perilous paraphrase between ‘beyond form’ and ‘enlightenment’; I believe that these two states share many characteristics in the practice necessary to achieve them: harmony, completeness and infinitude.”


Massimo Bartolini
Atlante Occidentale, Daniele Del Giudice, Einaudi Tascabili, 1998, p. 78
29 November 2017 – 31 January 2018
Opening: Wednesday 29 November 2017, 7pm

Magazzino | via dei Prefetti 17, Roma
Opening times: Tue–Sat, 11am–8pm | Mondays by appointment
For Info: +39 066875951 |