Thu 6 Jul 2023 to Sat 30 Sep 2023
Tornabuoni Art gallery presents Esprit de géométrie en Italie 1940-1960, an exhibition focusing on a particularly important and often forgotten phase of post-war Italian art: the transition from figuration to abstraction.
While since 2009, Tornabuoni Art has been known to the French public for its exhibitions celebrating the icons of 20th-century Italian art, such as Lucio Fontana, Alighiero Boetti and Alberto Burri, with this exhibition project the gallery renews its commitment to promoting the Italian artistic panorama beyond movements now well established in the common imagination, such as Spatialism and Arte Povera.
Through a selection of major works by seven artists, Alberto Magnelli (1888 – 1971), Gualtiero Nativi (1921 – 1999), Mario Nigro (1917 – 1992), Achille Perilli (1927 – 2021), Enrico Prampolini (1894 – 1956), Mauro Reggiani (1897 – 1980) and Luigi Veronesi (1908 – 1998), Esprit de géométrie en Italie 1940-1960 analyzes the gradual establishment of abstraction in Italy.
The exhibition focuses on fundamental and transformative decades for Italian painting. Enriched by the Futurist experience and the research of Vassili Kandinsky and the Bauhaus, artists began to form groups in the various poles of artistic creation – Forma 1 in Rome (Achille Perilli) and the Movimento Arte Concreta in Milan (Mario Nigro, Mauro Reggiani, Luigi Veronesi). They rejected traditional figurative painting in favor of a more experimental style based on simple forms, geometry and color.
Of all the galleries in the Tornabuoni group, it is the Parisian gallery of Tornabuoni Art that serves as the setting for this exhibition, an echo of the links, ever more strongly recognized, of these Italian artists with the Paris art scene. Indeed, most of these artists travel to Paris, where they spend formative periods of varying length, encountering the work of Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and the Abstraction-Création group.
Through the project Esprit de géométrie en Italie 1940-1960, the gallery reconstructs a richer geography of the artistic talents of the 40s and 60s who were the protagonists of Italian and French abstraction, with a particular focus on the French experiences of each artist.
The exhibition does not aim to recreate the complete panorama of this period, but rather focuses on the fundamental steps from figuration to the establishment of abstraction. This is made possible by the inclusion in the selection of artists of international renown, such as Alberto Magnelli, whose works are present in major public collections (Centre Pompidou, MoMA, Musée d’art moderne de Grenoble), alongside artists who, although established in the Italian collective imagination and present in numerous museums in France, are a discovery for the French public.