Agnetti – Boetti – Paolini – Prini
Cardi Gallery, London presents ‘Difference and Affinity’, the first in a series of exhibitions that trace the main themes of Italian Art in the late sixties and early seventies, in this instance, through the works of four preeminent ‘Conceptual’ artists of the era: Vincenzo Agnetti, Alighiero Boetti, Giulio Paolini, Emilio Prini.
The exhibition highlights the artists’ idiosyncratic approach to conceptualism (in some cases associated or tangential to Arte Povera) and shows how their work evolved to become uniquely poetic, elusive and even romantic at times. All four made tangible works where the physical presence of the art object was tantamount along with the aesthetic material properties. A link with past history and current politics at the time remained, even in the more “conceptual” variants. This is in direct contrast to the British and American tendency of the time to focus on the idea, or concept, as the most important aspect of the work which eventually lead to the complete de-materialisation of the art object (art as pure idea).
‘Difference and Affinity’ juxtaposes many important works from the late 1960’s and early-to-mid 1970’s and illustrates the four artists’ highly individual approach to conceptualism. Their elusiveness to be categorised is the common thread that links their work together.