Mazzoleni announces their Summer Show 2018, a two-fold presentation open to the public from 4 June 2018. On the ground floor, there is a focus on Burri: Cellotex and Multiples and on the lower ground floor: selected works by Italian Post-War Masters: Bonalumi, Castellani, Dorazio, Melotti and Zappettini.
Alberto Burri’s (1915-1995) continuous experimentation brought a new language to Post-War art. Utilising a host of everyday materials, such as burlap and plastic, and transforming them via use of fire and lacerations, Burri created dynamic works on celotex, paper and canvas. The display centres on works in celotex alongside those in multiples, all of which testify to the artist’s evolving dedication to invention. It includes major monochrome works such as Nero Cellotex, 1986-1987; striking in its monumental scale, compositional and monochromatic simplicity, it is a rare work from a series of 10 Black Cellotex paintings of identical dimensions that the artist created between 1986 and 1987. Sculpting the celotex with a knife and applying acrylic in thick impasto, Burri created a strong and austere textured black-on-black organic surface. This mature cycle of work is appreciated not only for its severe minimalism but also for its rough tactile beauty and raw energy. The celotex works usually preceded the creation of Burri’s multiples and provided him with inspiration and the opportunity to explore new techniques that organically then developed into new bodies of work.
Throughout his practice of printmaking, Burri adapted materials to push the boundaries of the printed image; from chalcography to incised collages and extreme-pressure ink pressings. The multiples presented here span from the late 1960s to the mid 1990s. They include Multiplex,1981, a set of 10 from an edition of 30 individually worked pieces, created by using collage on cardboard. Burri uses a combination of matt and shiny surfaces, created by applying clear glue (vinavil), to balance each composition. The interlocking shapes and colourful counterpoints in distinctive red and black, juxtaposed with the ochre of the cardboard feature numerous compositions which were first developed in his celotex works. Also, on display will be Oro e Nero, 1993, composed of six silkscreens with shimmering gold leaf, which reflect Burri’s interest in Byzantine and medieval art. Produced two years before Burri’s death, the Oro e Nero series exemplifies the artist’s ability to balance geometrical form with texture and colour, concerns which the artist explored as consistently in his works in edition as in his celotex oeuvre.
Italian Post-War Masters: Bonalumi, Castellani, Dorazio, Melotti, Zappettini Italian Post-War Masters honours the first major retrospective of Agostino Bonalumi’s oeuvre since his demise in 2013, presented at the Palazzo Reale, Milan, Italy in July-Sept 2018, by pairing Bianco, a characteristic ‘painting-object’ from 1967 with Bronzo, 1969- 2007, an elegant form in polished bronze inspired by Bonalumi’s experimentation in the 1960s. These are displayed alongside Superficie Gialla, 2014, by Enrico Castellani (1930-2017), Bonalumi’s peer in the Milanese post-war scene; both artists sharing an interest in sculpting painting into the third dimension.
The presentation also highlights Piero Dorazio (1927-2005) and Gianfranco Zappettini (b.1939), artists associated with the Pittura Analitica (Analytical Painting) movement of the 1970s. Dorazio, an avant-garde figure within European abstract painting, began his series of “lattices” in the 1950s, developing a decades long practice centred on the perception of colour. Dorazio’s approach influenced younger artist Gianfranco Zappettini, who often uses industrial materials and thread in his paintings, meticulously exposing the medium to create his monochromatic and more recent polymaterial ‘reticular’ compositions La trama e l’ordito, here included.
Also, on display are four sculptures by Fausto Melotti (1901–1986) in brass, bronze, gold, silver and stainless steel. Preoccupied with precision and harmony, works such as Contrappunto IV,1970, reveal the artist’s masterful ability to liberate sculpture from the centuries-old obsession with weight, through the production of light and delicate structures.