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Art and Perception

The relationship between art and the laws of perceptual organization is one of the issues which the research group has focused on. The project is based on the concept (held by the Maestri of the group) that sees art as a form of knowledge. Manfredo Massironi and Ugo Savardi were more involved in the visual arts and Paolo Bozzi’s work concentrated on music.
The “perceptual thoughts” developed by Manfredo Massironi in his twofold role as a scholar of the Psychology of Perception and an artist (he was a member of one of the avant-guard groups in the 20th century in Italy: the “group N”) are exemplars of the enlightened, thought-provoking experiments which were carried out to investigate the link between visual research and art. Similarly, Bozzi’s compositions for string instruments (violin, viola and cello) are exemplars of artistic experimentations involving the manipulation of the auditory organization of music. Promoting not only an emotive approach to art but also a “cognitive” approach to art has always been one of the main objectives underlying Ugo Savardi’s epistemic concept of the Psychology of Art, as revealed in his university courses and also expressed in both scientific and divulgative publications.

  1. Bianchi, I. (2022). La figura di Manfredo Massironi. In: L’occhio in gioco. Il Gruppo N e la psicologia della percezione, pp. 61-65. Silvana Editore. ISBN 9788836653256 [Eng. version: An Appraisal of Massironi. In: Trick of the Eye. Tre Gruppo N and the Psychology of Perception, pp. 319-321]
  2. Savardi, U., & Bianchi, I. (2015). Un ragionamento per l’arte dell’emozione [A reasoning, for the art of emotion]. Ricerche di Psicologia, 1, 207-224. DOI: 10.3280/RIP2015-001013
  3. Savardi, U, & Bianchi I. (2014). Contraries in art: a glance at the structure of mirror reflections. Gestalt Theory, 36 (3), 209-226. (ISSN 0170-057 X)
  4. Savardi, U. (2014). L’esattezza dello spazio stereocinetico. In: Marina Apollonio. Retrospective Exhibition. Milano, IT: Graphic and Digital Project, pp. 21-25 (Eng. Translation: The exactness of stereokinetic space, pp. 27-30)
  5. Savardi, U, & Bianchi, I. (2014). Ragionate percezioni allo specchio [Reasoned perceptions in the mirror]. In: C.M. Fossaluzza, & I. Verstegen. Ragionamenti percettivi. Saggi in onore di Alberto Argenton [Perceptual Reasonings. Essays in honor of Alberto Argenton] (pp. 15-36). Milano-Udine: Mimesis. Collana: Filosofie, n. 352. ISBN: 9788857527161
  6. Savardi U. (2011). L’amodale [Amodal completion]. In: E. L. Francalanci & U. Savardi U. (eds) Ennio L. Chiggio. Ricerche 1957-2021 Dislocamenti Amodali [Ennio L. Chiggio. Studies 1957-2021. Amodal dislocations] (pp. 16-20). Milano: Mondadori Electa.
  7. Bianchi, I. (2011). Guardare (e vedere) allo specchio [Looking at (and seeing in) the mirror]. Rivista di estetica (numero monografico: Arte, psicologia e realismo. Saggi in onore di Lucia Pizzo Russo: Monographic issue: “Art, Psychology and Realism. Essays in Honor of Lucia Pizzo Russo”) [Online], 48 | 2011; DOI:
  8. Bennett, K.M., Latto, R., Bertamini, M., Bianchi, I., & Minshull, S. (2010). Does Left-Right Orientation Matter in the Perceived Expressiveness of Pictures? A study of Bewick’s animals (1753-1828). Perception, 39, 970-981. dos: 10.1068/p6624; 2-s2.0-77955795668
  9. Bianchi, I., Savardi, U., &Bertamini, M. (2008). Estimation and representation of head size (People overestimate the size of their head – evidence starting from the 15th century). British Journal of Psychology, 99 (4), 513-531. doi: 10.1348/000712608X304469; 2-s2.0-56249132500
  10. Savardi U. (2008). A lezione di Massironi. In: Massironi. La dinamica dell’oggetto visivo (pp. 30-32). Torino: Allemandi editore.
  11. Bianchi, I., e Savardi, U. (2007). Manfredo Massironi. Ricerca visiva e arte, arte e ricerca visiva [Manfredo Massironi. Visual research and Art, Art and Visual research]. Catalogo della mostra, Palazzo Mozzi Borgetti, Macerata, 2007. Milano: d’ambrosio editore.
  12. Savardi, U. (2003). Stilleben. Percezione di movimenti. Meccanici e musicali [Stilleben. Perception of movements. Mechanical and musical ones]. Rivista di estetica n.s., 24 (3/2003), anno XLIII.
  13. Massironi M, & Savardi U. (1994). Incontri tra psicologia e arte [Encounters between Psychology and Art]. In: Mazzucchi A., Pesci G., Trento D., Cervello e Pittura [Brain and Painting] (pp. 41-53). Fratelli Palombi Editori.

Artistic events

A number of artistic events have also been organized. There were two exhibitions of Manfredo’s Massironi’s artworks and a concert featuring Paolo Bozzi’s musical compositions. The aim of these events was to disseminate knowledge not only of the art and music created by these Maestri but also of the perceptual processes that are incorporated in art. This knowledge contributes to people’s appreciation of art. And when they understand art more fully, people can really experience it as a “pleasure of the mind” (Kubovy, 1999).

  1. Exhibition: Manfredo Massironi. Ricerca visiva e arte, Arte e ricerca visiva. (Macerata, Palazzo Morzi Borgetti, Piazza Vittorio Veneto; 24 maggio-12 giugno 2007).
  2. Exhibition Tribute to Creativity – Arte Programmata, Massironi, Bozzi (Verona, Chiesa san Giorgetto, piazza S. Anastasia; 10-19 maggio 2011).
  3. Concert: L’arco Musicale di Paolo Bozzi (Aula Magna Università di Macerata, Piazza della Libertà; 25 maggio 2007).