Mario Nigro

1 Apr — 10 Jun 2017 at Dep Art in Milan, Italy

23 MARCH 2017
Mario Nigro, Exhibition view. Courtesy of Dep Art
Mario Nigro, Exhibition view. Courtesy of Dep Art

Commemorating the centenary of the birth of Mario Nigro (Pistoia 1917 - Livorno 1992), Dep Art gallery is hosting an important exhibition of paintings on canvas and works on paper curated by Federico Sardella. Dep Art opened in 2006 with an exhibition of the works by Mario Nigro, thanks to the initiative on the part of Antonio Addamiano. Now in the new gallery seat found in Via Comelico 40 in Milan, confirming the interest and passion for this artist's work, after 11 years from this first exhibition the gallery is now presenting a series of works by the artist that belong to different periods of his career.

By concentrating its attention on the paintings in which Mario Nigro carried out a sort of codification of the structure, the exhibition proposes a 'dialogue' of a group of works of the 1950s and 1960s characterized by dense reticular aggregations that tend to saturate the surface which in this way becomes the tessera of something more expandable, placed in a dialogue with works of the 1970s in which the studies treating the line become concrete, the undisputed protagonist of Nigro's structures.

From among the most important artists of his generation and a fundamental protagonist of Italian art, Nigro has always stood out due to his rigorous poetic and constant pictorial research based upon colour and supported by constantly developing structures capable of evolving to the point of the total saturation of the work's space, in the same way capable of disgregation in such a way as to arrive at a minimal and drastic reduction of the work's same characteristic elements. In this sense the exhibition presents paintings that have reticulate structures, complex and forcefully vibratile that engage in a dialogue with essential works, apparently simple, denoted by meditated spaces and calibrated silences, confirming that Nigro never posed the problem of how to fill or employ the space of the canvas and that his entire work procedure remained in a precarious equilibrium between project research and freedom of action, between chaos and order, between structures nurtured by existence and the very fact of existence itself.

As Nigro wrote in 1975 regarding his work: "It appears to me, in conclusion, that I can really consider myself a painter, in the most classical and most essential sense of the term. This is because the objective, rendered increasingly more evident in the progression or in the evolution of my research works, is the valorizing of the fundamental element of painting, that of chromatism, of freeing it from all of that accumulation of culture and prejudices which hinder its poetic individuation, giving it that value of connection to the human psyche for which its alienating essentiality is only the reflection of the demand for the alienation of love so that one can speak of "metaphysics of colour".

The exhibition is accompanied by a bilingual volume (Italian-English) published by Dep Art and edited by Federico Sardella. It contains a text by the curator and an extensive critical study by Giovanni Maria Accame, the reproductions of all of the works on exhibit, a selection of archival images and updated bio-bibliographical documentation.