The first important international event opening the festivities for the thirtieth anniversary of the Castello di Rivoli concerns the figure and work of Jan Dibbets, the interpreter of an intense cultural season in Europe and abroad and among the first artists to exhibit at the Museum for its inaugural show Ouverture in 1984. Installed in the rooms on the third floor of the Savoy residence, the exhibition proposes a vast and exhaustive excursus among the Dutch artist’s most important works, beginning from his debut in the late 1960s to today. The event, curated by Marcella Beccaria and installed in close collaboration with the artist himself, presents the vastest retrospective ever dedicated to Dibbets by an Italian museum, including a precise selection of particularly significant works as his artistic course has unfolded, covering almost fifty years of contemporary art history. The selection, which includes works that for some time now have been part of the Castello’s permanent collection, intentionally gives preference also to rare works, almost never shown in public in so far as housed for decades in private collections.
Dibbets is a Conceptual Art pioneer, with an international standing and importance for generations of artists after him. As Marcella Beccaria writes: “Rather than ‘what’ we see, the works of the artist lead us to ask ‘how’ we see, and it is precisely these fundamental questions that give rise to his work. In dialogue with some of the most salient moments of Western art culture, from Dutch painting to Italian art, and the relating theories on form and perspective, Dibbets’s inquisitive mind knows how to create an innovative, individual course that has contributed in turn to establishing new artistic languages. Among the pioneers of Conceptual Art, and part of the emergence of Land Art as well as Arte Povera, from the late 1960s Dibbets has been one of the very first to single out a use for photography as a ‘thinking’ tool, carrying out a revolution the consequences of which have been further amplified in the present digital age.”