PAOLO SCHEGGI1. Oct - 4. Nov 14 / begins in 10 days Robilant + Voena Gallery
Open Monday-Friday, 10am-6pm
In October ROBILANT+VOENA will present the first solo exhibition of Paolo Scheggi in London, organised with the Associazione Paolo Scheggi. Curated by Francesca Pola, the show will celebrate the work of Scheggi during the 1960s: the seminal and crucial creative decade prior to his death in 1971 at the tender age of 31.
Scheggi’s dazzling work developed in Postwar Milan, an effervescent and international artistic context, enriched by the crucial presence of Lucio Fontana, and of experimental artists from the new Italian generation: those around the Azimuth/Azimut gallery and magazine (such as Piero Manzoni, Enrico Castellani, Agostino Bonalumi, Dadamaino), and those connected to the “Arte programmata” (such as Gianni Colombo). With them, Scheggi’s work shares the desire to move beyond traditional painting into a new creative and perceptual dimension: objective, physical and spatial.
In 1962, after various threedimensional mixed media experimentations, Scheggi developed his Intersuperfici (Intersurfaces), also called Zone riflesse (Reflected Zones): canvases with cut-outs, superimposed, to create physically and optically complex spaces, aimed at investigating the dynamics of perception and involvement. In this spatial vision, his work is also characterised by a wide interdisciplinary approach, intertwining his pictorial investigation with architecture, fashion, poetry, performance, and philosophy.
The exhibition will bring together pivotal examples of Scheggi’s work on the spatial investigation of surface: from the early metal assemblages of his Lamiere, to the mature complex constructions of his Intersuperfici and Strutture modulari. A selection of over thirty of his paintings, including some unpublished and never before exhibited canvases from Italian private collections, will be the core of the exhibition, and will reaffirm the role played by Scheggi in the development of Modern Art in Italy.
The highlight of the exhibition will be an installation entitled Intercamera plastica which was first shown at Milan’s Naviglio Gallery in January 1967. Kindly lent by Museo Pecci in Prato, Intercamera plastica is the only environmental piece devised by Scheggi. Arguably the apex of Scheggi’s spatial interrogation, Intercamera plastica is a large yellow space measuring nearly three metres squared. Viewers are invited to enter the work, surrounded by curved perforated walls. The holes carved into the walls are perfectly circular and uniformly superimposed, embodying Scheggi’s fascination with structural forms. This will be the first time this seminal work will be exhibited outside Italy.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a 200 page book edited by Francesca Pola and published by Skira. Based on extensive studies of Scheggi’s work, with over 170 images of paintings and documents, it will include a selection of his writings from the period and an iconographic mapping of selected works in museums around the world.
PAOLO SCHEGGI (Florence 1940 – 1971 Rome)
Living in Milan since 1961, he collaborated with the experimental stylist Germana Marucelli, and came into contact with new research in the city, such as the group around Azimuth/Azimut and the first exponents of Arte programmata. Lucio Fontana followed his research carefully since 1962. In 1965 Scheggi joined the Nove Tendencije movement, expanding his international contacts in Germany and Northern Europe, and exhibiting with artists from the Zero and Nul movements. In 1966, Gillo Dorfles included him in the “Pittura-oggetto a Milano” exhibition at Arco d’Alibert in Rome. In the same year, Scheggi participated in the Venice Biennale, where his work is also present in 1972, 1976, 1986. He exhibited at some of the major international artistic events of the time: from Paris to Buenos Aires, from New York to Hamburg, from Düsseldorf to Zagreb.
Scheggi also worked with architects, such as Nizzoli Associates (Mendini, Oliveri, Fronzoni) and with Bruno Munari at the Triennale in Milan. A seminal achiement in this spatial investigation which he developed on a large scale is the Intercamera plastica (Plastic Inter-room) presented in Milan at Galleria del Naviglio, in January 1967, and now at Centro dell’Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci (Prato). At the end of the 1960s, he moved towards theater and performing arts, and then to a more conceptual research.
His work is represented in important public collections, such as Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna in Rome, Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus in Munich, Galerie der Stadt in Stuttgart, Gallerie d’Italia – Collezione Intesa Sanpaolo in Milan.
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