An exhibition of forty works by Mario Pavesi was inaugurated in the spring of 2013 in Pforzheim (Stuttgart). Attending the event were the local authorities of the province of Reggio Emilia and its twinship Enzkreis, and as a publisher I published the bilingual catalogue, which I also supported as President of the Centro Studi e Archivio “Antonio Ligabue”, located in Parma. Marzio Dall’Acqua and Vittorio Sgarbi, both of whom are members of the scientiﬁc committee of the Centro Studi, penned critical essays for the catalogue, embracing my idea to promote an artist who is very different from Antonio Ligabue, the eccentric painter and sculptor for whom, in 1983, our Cultural Institute was founded, with a commitee of founder members that has changed over time, and has included some of the leading art experts. Indeed it was believed that Mario Pavesi, an artist from an area in the Po Valley close to the one where Antonio Ligabue (Zurich, 1899 – Gualtieri, Reggio Emilia, 1965) had worked, could represent, in spite of the diversity and originality of his personal and unique language, a contemporary way of translating the identity of a territory into painting and sculpture. In this sense, over the years the Centro Studi has proposed, promoted and organized exhibitions or simple art publications, monographs whose aim is to divulge and make known the artists from the banks of the Po River, a river that never divides, from Mantua to Guastalla, from Modena to Parma. These are the lands of small and ancient capital cities that are still lively in their diverse cultural and artistic identities, but precisely because of these identities capable of expressing creative personalities of remarkable, innovative and original interest, sensitive to tradition – which is part of an ancient civilization’s environmental substratum – as well as to radical innovation.
Because our Institute proposes with scientiﬁc rigour each of the artists that it presents, so that visitors to these exhibitions, the readers of the catalogues, will have the tools they need to easily decipher and understand the works, the personalities and the styles of the artists we support, while the international experience since the 1980s has helped us make proposals that are of a rigorously high level, rooted in a territory and a history, which we have shared and continue to share, but which is in no way provincial, ephemeral or of little importance. We try to exalt the values and to perceive with human skill, but also by following the advice of a board of experts, those artists who will be permanent, those who will offer a cultural richness that we believe is the truest and foremost heritage to be saved and cherished. Needless to say, the works of Mario Pavesi, for me as well as for the Centro Studi, count among such values.
Augusto Agosta Tota
President of Centro Studi & Archivio Antonio Ligabue di Parma