Thesis: Francesco Conz, the “Collector of Artists”. Life and work of a mysterious impresario who squandered a millionaire fortune to finance the artists of his epoch.
Supervisor: Michael Hatt
Background: Nicola Viviani was born in Verona, Italy, in 1985 After graduating in Classical Studies at ‘Scipione Maffei’ High School, he got BA in Cultural Heritage and MA in Artistic and Archeological Disciplines. He had the unique opportunity to know in person the main figure of his doctoral research, the renowned collector Francesco Conz, who became a close family friend during the Nineties. Moreover, growing up attending Conz’s house represented the chance to make friends with many remarkable protagonists of the international vanguard. Through this in-depth experience, he gained full knowledge of Conz’s way of conceiving and collecting art, which is a topic that suffers from a significant lack of information.
Research: This doctoral research is the first substantial account of Francesco Conz, one of the most influential figures in the neo-vanguard of twentieth-century art, as a collector, patron, publisher, and artistic collaborator. Despite his centrality to major movements (e.g. Fluxus, Viennese Actionism, Concrete Poetry), Conz has been little discussed by scholars of the avant-garde. Such a project shall address this lacuna, analysing Conz’s challenge to orthodox conceptions of patron and collector in the post-war art world, a challenge that was aesthetic, political, ethical, and philosophical.
Publications: Francesco Conz Editions: Complete Catalogue Raisonné. Realized in collaboration with De Montfort University, Leicester, 2016.
Gunter Brus portrays Francesco Conz on Nicola Viviani. Secret Museum of F. Conz, 2005.