From October 10 to December 20, Tornabuoni Art gallery has the honour of presenting a never-before-seen exhibition of the Italian artist Turi Simeti in France. The gallery, that defends and promotes Italian artists of the second half of the 20th Century, is organizing in close collaboration with Turi Simeti, his first retrospective in France.
The exhibition will bring together thirty important artworks of the artist’s career. This selection exhibits the artist’s will to break away from the flatness of the surface of the canvas using marginal elements, recurrent or opposed arrangements of shapes, playing with depth and movement, always in search of an aesthetic balance.
Turi Simeti was born in 1929 in Alcamo and after studying veterinary medicine in Bologna and law in Palermo, settled in Rome in 1958 where he frequented Alberto Burri’s workshop. It is then he started painting, staying for long periods in London, Paris and Basel where he was immersed in the international questioning of the foundations of art and pictorial traditions. The artistic language he developed evolves around the concept of the canvas-object, where the canvas is freed from its role of mere support.
In the beginning of the 60s and following in Agostino Bonalumi and Enrico Castellani’s footsteps, Turi Simeti created the Legni Ovali (Oval Woods) and Cartoni Neri (Black Cardboards). His rationality and rigour transpire through the combination of monochrome and a threedimensional geometric form that would become his signature, the ellipse.
Since 1963, Turi Simeti has participated in numerous European exhibitions: Arte Visuale in Florence, Nouvelle Tendance 3 in Zagreb, Arte Programmata - Aktuel 65 and Weiss auf Weiss in Bern in 1965 and 1966. He moved to Milan in 1965 and was invited to participate in the ZERO Avantgarde project at Lucio Fontana’s studio where he held an important and active role during the 60s and 70s. His first solo exhibition took place the same year at the Wulfengasse gallery in Klagenfurt, Austria. His work then evolved into a new vision of art and space that would bring him to create his first shaped canvases at the end of the 60s.
In 1971, as part of a general protest movement in the art world, he created the performance Distruzione di un aliante (Destruction of a glider) at the Galleria La Bertesca in Genoa. In 1980 the Pinacoteca Comunale di Macerata dedicated an exhibition to him. The same year, he set up a workshop in Rio de Janeiro that enabled him to exhibit in Brazil. His work is present in a great number of prestigious public and private collections.
Since the 90s, Simeti has developed an aesthetic language focusing his research into dynamism and movement through the exploration of colour and form. He is considered today to be one of the pioneers of the second half of the century’s Italian artists. He works in his Milanese studio.