These two exhibitions of Italian art from the 1970s allows us to learn more about this period and see the similarities and differences in the approach of each group of artists.
Pittura Analitica. 1970s, Mazzoleni London, 27 Albemarle Street, London, W1, until 23rd July 2016
This is the first exhibition in this country of works by the artists who formed the group Pittura Analitica in the 1970s. By concentrating on extending the possibilities of expressing the medium by using things such as elastic bands, paint rollers, cement and weaving they sought to bring a new definition to painting which reflected the times they lived in. It was a new language that both looked at what it meant to paint and acted as a contemporary communicator.
Among the artists featured are Carlo Battaglia, Enzo Cacciola, Vincenzo Cecchini, Paolo Cotani, Marco Gastini, Giorgio Griffa, Riccardo Guarneri, Elio Marchegiani, Paolo Masi, Carmengloria Morales, Claudio Olivieri, Pino Pinelli, Claudio Verna and Gianfranco Zappettini.
The exhibition is curated by the international curator, Alberto Fiz and there is a fully illustrated monograph on Pittura Analitica, published by Silvana Editoriale.
The Experience of Colour: Astrazione Oggettiva, Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art, 39a Canonbury Square, London N1, until 31st July 2016
This, too, is another first showing of works by this small group of painters in the UK. It reveals a relatively unknown moment in 1970s Italian art when a group of six painters in Northern Italy came together to respond to contemporary culture and issued a ‘Manifesto of Objective Abstraction’ in their own individual manner. Colour was the cornerstone of their aesthetic and their works recalled some of the early 20th century movements such as Bauhaus while incorporating the ideas of the ‘concrete’ painters and others.
The artists included Mauro Cappelletti (b.1948), Diego Mazzonelli (1943-2014), Gianni Pellegrini (b.1953), Aldo Schmid (1935-78), Luigi Senesi (1938-78) and Giuseppe Wenter Marini (1944-2015). The early deaths of two of the group’s key members led to it’s decline but it remains an important part of the story of abstact painting in Italy.