décollage on canvas
119 x 83,5 cm (46 7/8 x 32 7/8 in.)
signed lower right, verso signed, dated, titled and with measurements
Mimmo Rotella began to develop his interest in collage techniques in 1953 when he moved back to Rome after two years in the United States where he met artists like Claes Oldenburg, Jackson Pollock and Robert Rauschenberg. He became a key figure in the development of décollage, a technique which involves removing or tearing pieces of an existing image, rather than building up an image in the manner of conventional collage. This approach was a signature technique of the Nouveau Réalisme, a group Rotella joined in 1961. Rotella explained how the ripped posters that lined the walls of Rome inspired his work: “I was literally spellbound, and even more so because at that time I was convinced that painting was finished, that something new had to be unearthed, something alive and modern. So in the evenings I began to tear the posters, ripping them from the walls, and take them back to my studio, creating compositions and leaving them exactly the way they were, exactly the way I saw them. That is how the décollage came to be.” This technical and stylistical combination of influences from cubism (Picasso, Braque) and dada (Schwitters) and new Pop Art characteristics can emblematically be seen in Rotella’s “Marilyn salta”.