From 9 May to 22 June 2019, the Galleria 10 A.M. ART, in its venue in 5 Corso Gottardo, Milan, is organizing a retrospective show, curated by Paolo Bolpagni, of Luigi Veronesi (1908-1998), one of the protagonists of twentieth century Italian and international abstraction.
The show will follow all the phases and multifaceted “explorations” of this extraordinary artist, ranging from painting to scenography, cinema, the “visualisation of music” through a system of forms and colours developed by him, etchings, graphics, photography, and the applied arts. After his technical studies, the real turning point in Veronesi’s development came about in 1930 when for the first time he visited the Venice Biennale and had the possibility of seeing works by Kandinsky, Klee, Feininger, and Schlemmer. His apprenticeship, unusual in the Italy of the times, continued in 1932 with his journey to Paris (the first of many visits) during which he met Léger, Vantongerloo, and the exponents of the first Concretist group who had given life to “Abstraction-Création”, which Veronesi joined in 1934. This was a very important year for him, given that in December the Galleria Il Milione in Milan mounted his first show of non-figurative engravings, juxtaposed with those by Josef Albers, an important exponent of the Bauhaus which had just been closed down by the Nazi authorities. Soon to become a basic reference point for him was László Moholy-Nagy, with whom he began a long and friendly epistolary relationship, sparked off by a meeting in Switzerland in 1935.
In the meantime his contacts with the most advanced trends in European art increased: in 1936 he began his relationship with various protagonists of Swiss Concretism, among whom Max Bill and Jean Tschichold, director of the Basel school of graphics, who allowed him to visit the Müller collection where Veronesi had the possibility of seeing for the first time works by El Lissitsky, Rodchenko, and Malevich.
Having arrived at a personal geometric-constructivist abstraction, based on the musical concept of “variation”, in an attempt to arrive at a rhythmic and harmonic dynamism Veronesi also began to be interested in cinema: between 1940 and 1942 he made, by hand-colouring the film, six “abstract” films through which he aimed at organising “painting in movement”. In the Galleria 10 A.M. ART show some of these rare films, with the permission of the Fondazione Cineteca Italiana in Milan, will be projected. Furthermore, there will be highlighted the importance of Veronesi’s work as a stage designer, with which he became concerned in 1933 when he made the designs for Igor Stravinsky’s Le rossignol: in this retrospective show we will be presenting some of the original marionettes for Histoire du soldat, a performance planned in 1939 together with Luigi Rognoni, that was to be recited by flesh and blood actors but that found its way to the stage only in 1981, in a performance for marionettes at the Piccola Scala theatre in Milan.
Many masterpieces will be exhibited in this show curated by Paolo Bolpagni: from two abstract engravings from the 1930s to Studio Cinetico, 1940, Composizione n. 18, 1941, Composizione, 1950, a painting Incontro dating from 1954, Composizione A71 from 1971, and the oil painting KF 2, 1991. There will also be examples of the “chromatic visualisations of music” made by Veronesi from 1970 onwards. So this is an overview ranging from the 1930s to the 1990s, one that testifies to the pragmatic receptiveness and the inter-media interests of this Italian and European artist, in which geometric precision was always wedded to an understated lyricism and with a highly calculated formal and chromatic rhythm.