Alberto Burri’s (1915-1995) continuous experimentation brought a new language to Post-War art. Utilising a host of everyday materials, such as burlap and plastic, and transforming them via use of fire and lacerations, Burri created dynamic works on celotex, paper and canvas. The display centres on works in celotex alongside those in multiples, all of which testify to the artist’s evolving dedication to invention.
Throughout his practice of printmaking, Burri adapted materials to push the boundaries of the printed image; from chalcography to incised collages and extreme-pressure ink pressings. The multiples presented here span from the late 1960s to the mid 1990s.
Italian Post-War Masters honours the first major retrospective of Agostino Bonalumi’s oeuvre since his demise in 2013, presented at the Palazzo Reale, Milan, Italy in July-Sept 2018, by pairing Bianco, a characteristic ‘painting-object’ from 1967 with Bronzo, 1969-2007, an elegant form in polished bronze inspired by Bonalumi’s experimentation in the 1960s. These are displayed alongside Superficie Gialla, 2014, by Enrico Castellani (1930-2017), Bonalumi’s peer in the Milanese post-war scene; both artists sharing an interest in sculpting painting into the third dimension.
The presentation also highlights Piero Dorazio (1927-2005) and Gianfranco Zappettini (b.1939), artists associated with the Pittura Analitica(Analytical Painting) movement of the 1970s. Dorazio, an avant-garde figure within European abstract painting, began his series of “lattices” in the 1950s, developing a decades long practice centred on the perception of colour. Dorazio’s approach influenced younger artist Gianfranco Zappettini, who often uses industrial materials and thread in his paintings, meticulously exposing the medium to create his monochromatic and more recent polymaterial ‘reticular’ compositions La trama e l’ordito, here included.
Also, on display are four sculptures by Fausto Melotti (1901–1986) in brass, bronze, gold, silver and stainless steel. Preoccupied with precision and harmony, works such as Contrappunto IV,1970, reveal the artist’s masterful ability to liberate sculpture from the centuries-old obsession with weight, through the production of light and delicate structures.