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Ontani, Luigi (Artist) & Weiermair, Peter (Editor). LUIGI ONTANI. Zurich, Switzerland: Editions Stemmle, 1996. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 192 pages. Fine/Fine.

Retrospective exhibition monograph on artist. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a small and limited print run as a hardcover original only. The First Edition is now scarce. A brilliant production by Peter Renn: Oversize-volume format. Deep brown linen cloth boards with gilt titles embossed on spine, as issued. Art by Luigi Ontani. Edited by Peter Weiermair. Contributions by various scholars, art historians, and critics. List of Plates and Chronology appended at the end. Printed on pristine-white, thick coated stock paper by EBS in Verona, Italy to the highest standards. In pictorial DJ with red titles on the cover and spine, as issued. Published on the occasion of the travelling exhibition of the same name in 1996 and 1997. Presents "Luigi Ontani". The single most comprehensive assessment of the achievement of the Italian artist who has successfully incorporated the cultural heritage of his country into his oeuvre. As such, Ontani has worked in just about every conceivable medium: Drawings, illustrated texts, installations, paintings, glass, ceramics, papier-mache, photographic tableaux, masks, and other media. His is a democracy of art, which sees an exquisite ceramic plate as being on the same level of achievement as a large-scale painting that rivals those of his contemporary "transavanguardia" colleagues like Francesco Clemente and Sandro Chia. They all evoke a life devoted to the fictions of fantasy as drawn from the rich iconography of "heathen cultures and classical mythology". Ontani inserted himself, as obtrusively as possible, in his celebrated self-portraits, where he often posed naked, showing a body that is neither ideal nor real but somewhere in the middle, a theatrical self-presentation of one of the most unique and fascinating artistic personalities of the last quarter of the 20th century. An absolute "must-have" title for Luigi Ontani collectors. This title is now collectible. This is one of few copies of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. Please note: Copies available online have serious flaws, are subsequent printings, or are remainder-marked. This is surely an accessible and lovely alternative. A scarce copy thus. One of the most brilliant Italian artists of our time. A fine copy. . ISBN 3908162319. $40.00

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