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11 Mar 2010

'Looking beyond: X Rays' - Renato Meneghetti at Factory-Art, Berlin

Renato Meneghetti: 'Looking beyond: X Rays'

'Looking beyond: X Rays'


13 march 2010 > 8 may 2010 Tuesday > saturday 12 > 18
or by appointment

Robert Bogatec

Mommsenstraße, 27
10629 Berlin

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'…In this manner the eye can see what normally it cannot read…'

Factory-Art gallery is proud to present an extensive exhibition of x-rays from Italian artist Renato Meneghetti, which will be inaugurated on 13 March 2010 at 06:00pm and will run until 8 May 2010.

The exhibition entitled 'Looking Beyond: X-Rays will present a consistent portion of the great exhibition devoted to Renato Meneghetti held by the City of Rome at the Museo Nazionale di Palazzo Venezia and contemporaneously at three different exhibition spaces, curated by the well known art critic Achille Bonito Oliva, under the auspices of the Italian Ministry for Cultural Heritage and the Polo Museale Romano.

This exhibition is a beacon of inexhaustible research, an endeavour to go ever further, ever beyond, not only by means of the x-ray however, but through thought.

Meneghetti's research explores themes of great relevance to the present day, worked out through four installations where the public plays an interactive role, a carefully prepared event, which will appear as one huge installation, within which x-ray paintings will also be exhibited.
Furthermore, Meneghetti has composed the music; the near hypnotic sounds will lead the spectators to a state of high emotional responsiveness where visual perception could almost be defned as visionary.

...Renato Meneghetti's X-RAYS work is open to the tension that is with us of testing: his viewer begins to pass (into or Through) the test...

Laurence A. Rickels

...A new perceptive realty was born from the introspective power of X-RAYS...

Pierre Restany

'...The exhibition is the fruit of Meneghetti's creative nomadism which opens ever new expressive possibilities: the very skin of painting...'

Achille Bonito Oliva

'…Today, in the digital age, the contemporary artist  must be able to master different tools. The beneficiary of static and passive art no longer exists. The principle of plurality and rich and creative spiritual mobility,make Meneghetti an artist who provides for a vital and activepublic participation in his work. I am certain he still has a lot  more to say..'.

Erich Steingräber


'An Invasion of a Privacy Invaded'

From 1999 is a work of great relevance which anticipates today's situation world-wide: The artist denounces the invasion of privacy perpetrated by the forces of law and order. For example when x-raying is used in airports: an individual's personality, vices and passions are exposed by the X-Ray machine and become part of the public domain. The artist, for his part, invades the privacy of these controls by filming the police monitor thus reinvading the invaded privacy of the private citizen. The installation concludes with huge canvases derived from x-rays of luggage taken from security control monitors.

'Indifference – Clandestine'

This involving, interactive installation compels the public to participate. Itis an on-the-edge experience that gives voice to the new Tersites, the faceless beings of contemporary life, the life experience of an artist who is always attentive to social issues.
A project conceived in 2000 worked out in two closely communicating parts:
'Clandestine' and 'Indifference'.
In 'Clandestine' he has chosen to present pieces of cardboard, often written in poor Italian, where down-and-outs beg for money, a symbol of how these people need to purchase their very existence.'Indifference' is comprises a creative path through hundreds of ceramic heads through which the visitors are forced to make their way in order to reach the exhibition, inevitably breaking the fragile sculptures.This demonstrates the indifference and day-to-day behaviour of the heroes of physical and moral perfection. The photos and videos speak about the suffering of alienated people.

'Vertebrals Parallels'

Being the supporting structure of the human body, the chain of vertebrae incites a parallel between spine and plant, creating images of petrifed oases behind which x-rays of the human anatomy move; images of columns of rising smoke and chimneys bring to mind both sacrifcial pyres. (Dachau)
The X-Rays of human anatomy move in the background of an installation made of sheets of cotton, painted from x-rays and distributed across the architectural space. Marked with these human mappings, depicted in alcohol and similar in size and form to trees, these images of spinal columns, compose a disorienting mental landscape.


Darkness, not 'shadow'. Light. In a dark tunnel, from the void to everything, from darkness to light. The X-Ray plates hanging in the heavy space, a forest of hanging x-rays into which we collide, as we do when illness and pain enter out daily lifes. It is an uncertain path from one artwork to another pushing them aside; by turning around these transparent x-ray plates they reveal their images, throwing fashes of light from their shiny surfaces. And we can also sense an intense prompting of the spirit provided by the music from profane to sacred, embodied into this exhibition, involving all the spectator's senses, a synthesis of contemporary day-today drama. But here night is dispelled by the light that penetrates through these variously arranged human forms drawing confused profles on the walls; in memory, at the same time, of Steiner and of Medieval Germany. Through the obscure tunnel we feel that this artwork contains all our desperation, our own darkness. Meneghetti has skilfully created a sort of short circuited incident.

Four cycles of paintings will be exhibited in the three rooms devoted to painting:
1997 – 2000 'Looking Inwards, Looking Beyond'
1999 – 2010 'An Invasion of a Privacy Invaded'
2008 – 2010 'Great Masters'
2000 – 2010 'The Spirit of the Forest'

'Looking Inwards, Looking Beyond'

(Historical works)
These paintings present subjects and themes directly derived from Röntgen's great discovery. The X-Rays can become landscapes, mountains, even bodies of women if they are freely observed, for example with an eye like Leonardo Da Vinci. He described what he saw in the damp mildew on the wall of his studio - he could see anything and everything. The body as time. The body as place. X-Rays. Human and animal bodies examined by x-rays revealing unexpected similarities to religious symbols, ghosts, historical and imaginary images.

'Meneghetti's X-Rays have stood out as the only new signifcant reality in Italian art over the last twenty years. It must also be recognised that he was undoubtedly among the first, if not the very frst, to see the aesthetic rather than scientifc interest in this medium, and above all the deeper meanings in its use'.
(Gillo Dorfes)

'An Invasion of a Privacy Invaded'

Moving away from the by now well-known x-rays of the human body to x-rays of objects. Here we have the great canvases derived from X-Rays of luggage taken from security check point monitors. In hispicto/radiographic creations Renato Meneghetti reveals hidden countenances and expressions, through amphibious images of pure creativity. Starting out from the magic of science he reaches artistic enchantment, the only type that matters to Meneghetti.

To look within, to look beyond has always been one of the intentions of high culture, that particular branch of knowledge which does not confne itself to immediate and contingent matters, to phenomena; instead it endeavours to uncover what lies within and what is hidden from any form of visibility.

'Great Masters'

Ever faithful to painting, in this cycle Meneghetti has unifed ancient with modern and at the same time brought science into art: he is the ferryman Caronte, the bridge between the history of art and the third millennium.

Here we have the warm alluring colour paling, freezing thanks to a spectral, dead, unnatural light, thus letting part of the hidden image of a skeleton emerge from that warm fesh full of life and beauty. The spectator's gaze falters in the emptiness of the eye-socket and the inexpressive darkness of the x-rays. This image has all the artistic ingredients of memento mori. To look within, to look beyond has always been one of the intentions of high culture, that particular branch of knowledge which does not confne itself to immediate and contingent matters, to phenomena, instead it endeavours to uncover that which lies within, hidden from any form of visibility. Meneghetti places his trust in a scientifc instrument which, in this specific case, does not really see but simulates a lower layer that does not exist by any articulate physicality.

The Masks are exalted through a duplicity which can be derived from Klimt, Picasso, Dalì or Leonardo,  while the x-ray lens is wholly his own, through a skilful reductio ad unum he makes visible things which had not appeared. (Francesco Gallo)

'The Spirit of the Forest'

Including x-rays of wood, which invokes landscapes, the variable rhythm and irregular cycle of the grain in wood composes a sequence of seascapes and landscapes, nocturnal at times, in thick fog or marked by direct wind or sun. The mind draws climates and characters from different continents from the same x-ray. From real x-rays of real trees: one perceives the grain as desert dunes, the knots as solar and lunar bodies and cracks as landscapes in a storm; once again a real image is transformed through the unreal quotients of transported fantasy. In Meneghetti's cycle of woods, colour plays a primary role, becoming air, light, atmosphere, physiological and therefore also psychological vibration.


Renato Meneghetti was born in Rosà (Vicenza). He began to paint at a very early age and his artistic output has been created in the fortress of Ezzelino da Romano where he spent his childhood, as well as in the various Palladian Villas which he has restored and lived in. After his frst works, presented during the Sixties by friends and artists such as Fontana, Munari and Guiducci, and after a series of competitions and early exhibitions, he bought back almost all his works and has since lent them only to public institutions or museums. Since 1997 he follows his own original research into the use of the most advanced technology in communications and virtual reproduction of images bodies and objects. Projections and visual painting yield a more precise perception of the message evoked by light as a bearer of energy.