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Memories of Enrico Pedrini by Wolfgang Becker

Dear Daniel,

I am looking again at the photograph of Enrico in Venice which you sent me after his death. I do still remember the capricious pharmacist in Florence who was at every moment prepared to leave his busy shop in the central piazza to talk about art – only art – no politics – no women though his brother lovingly made contacts with nice young ladies who would be inclined to marry him. Claudio Costa introduced me to Enrico, one of those anthropologist artists whom I had started to exhibit in the Neue Galerie – Ludwig Collection in Aachen (Anne and Patrick Poirier, Nikolaus Lang etc.) in 1974.

Enrico Pedrini and Wolfgang Becker in Porto Venere, August 1975, photo credit: Astrid Brock.

Working as German Commissary for the Paris Biennial I met other Italian artists and curators. They all knew Enrico, the pharmacist and collector who had started to write about contemporary art using works from his collection as illustrations.

Enrico shocked his family by leaving the pharmacy in Florence but his brother accepted that he would move to Genoa where his family lived and use his part of the family´s funds to follow his interest in art – and he married and had a son.

The collection grew, and I still keep some inventories. But Enrico never responded to my request to exhibit it in my museum or any other place – like several of those Belgian collectors I know who were never encouraged by a liberal tax legislation to demonstrate their vanities.

Astrid Brock and Enrico Pedrini in Porto Venere, August 1975, photo credit: Wolfgang Becker.

We were not able to commemorate the collector but the art critic and philosopher has held his place on the shelves of our libraries, and we will never forget the man who over hours and hours shared his enthusiasm with us talking about the marvels of Art.

Wolfgang Becker

Aachen, April 29, 2012

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