EXHIBITION BY lupo borgonovo

Curated by Laura Barreca and Valentina Bruschi


Opening: Thursday August 8th 2019 – at 6.00pm

August 9th – September 29th 2019

Museo Civico di Castelbuono (Palermo)



On Thursday August 8th at 6.00 pm the Museo Civico di Castelbuono presents, ZEESTER, solo exhibition by Lupo Borgonovo (Milan, 1985) in collaboration with the 23rd edition of Ypsigrock Festival (8-9-10-11 August).

The title of the solo show, Zeester, is the Dutch word for “sea star”, chosen by the artist without reference to the works exhibited but because of the sound it evokes and the form of the letters it is composed of, like visual poetry or in the experiments of the historical avant-gardes. The sea star also recalls the famous surrealist film by Man Ray, Étoile de mer (1928), an ode to ideal geometric beauty, superimposed on the body of a woman.


Geometry is a recurring element in the works of Lupo Borgonovo and returns in the corpus of works exhibited in the Ventimiglia Castle. The series named Alix is composed of drawings depicting "cloaks" painted on rice paper and inspired by the ancient "chasubles", called “pianeti” in Italian, precious liturgical vestments which are part of the collection of Sacred Art of the Museo Civico Castelbuono. The artist has taken the form of the ancient sacred robe, with the round opening for the priest's head, and painted it with floral motifs that recall the arabesques intertwined in the seventeenth century with coral and precious threads. The pictorial process involves the creation of a symmetrical shape through the folding of the paper and pressing of the colour, one side over the other, as in a Rorschach test.


The “pianeta” is a liturgical garment that envelops the priest (symbolically, like a small house) during the celebration of Mass and derives its shape from the ancient traveling cloak. During a trip in China, the artist collected the symbols that decorate these forms, from the logos of commercial companies to the graphics of food packaging; a repertoire that makes no distinction between "high" art and "low" art, courtly emblems and advertising, mixing cultures and historical periods, re-reading tradition with a contemporary eye. The exhibition also comprises, the series entitled, Babi, three sculptures in silicone rubber, the negative cast of the head of a wild boar in polyurethane, used as a target in archery practice. This work is a further distancing from the original form of the animal, as found in nature, to become something else: a shamanic object that evokes the ritual dimension when man was in contact with the cosmic dimension of his existence.


The project is strongly linked to the territory because it developed from the ideas that the artist collected during his last trips to Sicily - in 2017, when he participated in the INCURVA residency on the island of Favignana and in 2018, when he participated in Raymond, collateral event of Manifesta 12 - which he repeatedly visited the Museo Civico Castelbuono and studied its permanent collection. At the end of the exhibition, a work will be donated by the artist and will become part of the collection of the museum.


Renewing the collaboration born in 2014, during the evening concerts at the Ypsi Once Stage, main venue of the Ypsigrock Festival (9-10-11 August), a video will be projected on the façade of the Ventimiglia Castle, with the collaboration of Valentina Di Vita and Antonino D'Arpa of the Course of Industrial Design, Department of Architecture of the University of Palermo. Di Vita and D’Arpa have graphically elaborated an archive of photographic images of fabrics, tapestries, and other materials, collected by Lupo Borgonovo during his travels. These are details of tapestries and rugs that form a succession of animated shapes and colours referencing different styles and ages. In this way, once again, the architectural monument is transformed into an enormous and evocative visual surface. Furthermore, as in previous editions, since the partnership between the Museo Civico and Ypsigrock Festival was born, this year the Ventimiglia Castle atrium will host one of the concerts included in the line-up of the Italian Summer Boutique Festival: Sunday August 11th at 7 pm the scene will be all for Ólöf Arnalds, for her unique and exclusive date in Italy. Icelandic multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter Ólöf Arnalds is also known as touring member of Mùm and collaborator with bands and artists such as Björk.


On 6th August from 4.00pm to 6.00pm the artist will be engaged in an educational workshop with the children inside the Museum, where the participants, led by the artist, will have the opportunity to invent animals, fantastic monsters, into a illustrations of an imaginary story.


The Museo Civico Castelbuono wishes to thank Galleria Monica De Cardenas in Milan for the loan of the artworks, Prof. Cinzia Garofalo of Department of Architecture of University of Palermo, INCURVA, Giulio d’Alì and Genevieve Xhaet, and all those who helped make the project possible.



Lupo Borgonovo (Milan, 1985) lives and works in Milan. The artist's research investigates the way in which nature is transfigured by the production processes of the global market and the impact that these have on ecosystems. Working with sculpture, Borgonovo transforms natural forms into scraps of themselves, laminated copies of the originals, "synthetic relics from the time of the Anthropocene". Amongst his solo shows: Alexandra, 2018, Galleria Monica de Cardenas, Milan; Willow Pillow, 2015, Galleria Monica d Cardenas, Zuoz; Mandolino, 2014, Cripta 747, Turin. Recent group shows include: La terra piatta è la dimensione lirica di un luogo come se regredire fosse inventare, 2019, curated by Matt Paweski & Jacopo Mazzetti, OCTAGON, Milan; Il Tempo Svogliato, 2018, curated by Saverio Verini for Straperetana, Pereto; SCHMALTZ, 2018, Guimarães, Vienna; Raymond, 2018, curated by Luca Trevisani and Olaf Nicolai, Grand Hotel et des Palmes, Palermo, collateral event of the European Biennial Manifesta 12; Always the Real Thing, 2018, curated by Caterina Avataneo and Anaïs Lerendu, White Crypt, London; Art Club #18: Greffes, 2017, curated by Pierpaolo Pancotto, Accademia di Francia, Villa Medici, Rome; Metamorfosi. Uno sguardo alla scutura contemporanea, 2017, Museo d'Arte Mendrisio, Mendrisio. Nel 2016 the artist was part of, Curva Blu residency, INCURVA, Favignana, where the series of sculptures titled, Babi, were produced. For more information: http://www.lupoborgonovo.com/


Museo Civico Castelbuono wishes to thank its partners for their support in the cultural activities of the institution: Azienda Fiasconaro, Fecarotta Antichità, The Hotel Sphere, Palermo, Villa Catalfamo, Cefalù, Hotel Paradiso delle Madonie



Title: Zeester

Artist: Lupo Borgonovo

Opening: Thursday August 8th 2019 at 6.00 pm

Duration: August 8th – September 29th

Curated by: Laura Barreca and Valentina Bruschi

Summer opening times: every day 09.30 am – 1.00 pm / 3.00 pm – 6.30 pm

Tickets: full € 5,00; reduced € 3,00 (adults over 65 years old and youngsters from 8 to 18, schools and groups over 12 people, Touring club members, other agreements); reduced € 2.00 for those born or resident in Castelbuono; free for children up to 7 years old, differently abled and their caregivers, teachers and tourist guides accompanying groups, students of the Faculties of Art and Architecture, ICOM members, accredited journalists.

Address: Museo Civico di Castelbuono, Piazza Castello - 90013 Castelbuono (PA), Italy.

Telephone: +39 0921671211; www.museocivico.eu; info@museocivico.eu