“The violated canvas: Fontana, Manzoni, Castellani, Bonalumi, Burri, Scheggi, Simeti, Amadio and the physical investigation of the third dimension”

Lu.C.C.A. - Lucca Center of Contemporary Art, Lucca, 5 March – 19 June 2016

About fifty canvasses by eight artists that, starting in the 1950s, revolutionized the art scene, transgressing the pictorial surface. The exhibition “La tela violata. Fontana, Manzoni, Castellani, Bonalumi, Burri, Scheggi, Simeti, Amadio e l’indagine fisica della terza dimensione”, taking place from 5 March to 19 June 2016 in the museum halls of Lu.C.C.A. – Lucca Center of Contemporary Art, is born by following this journey into artistic research. The event organized by the Lucca museum is produced by MVIVA in collaboration with Spirale d’Idee.

The exhibition takes into consideration the art movement of Spatialism with particular attention to Azimuth, the magazine founded by Piero Manzoni and Enrico Castellani that engaged intellectuals, art critics and artists in the debate on what art represented, and Azimut, an exhibition space also founded by Manzoni and Castellani, in collaboration with Agostino Bonalumi.

Azimut/h had an almost unfathomable echo and domino effect through an explosive experimentation and a desecration of the instruments used in making art that offers the viewer a totally unprecedented role: completing the work of the artist called to violate the canvas. The genesis of this perceptive revolution can be found in Lucio Fontana’s integral manifesto of art. The first Manifesto of Spatial Art (1946) by Fontana proposed a new art that should have been characterized by a physical study of the materials, of the colors and of sound in motion, of the rhythm that could spring from a new pictorial scenario. The goal was to go beyond the two dimensional limit of the canvas to create a space that was both physical and conceptual at the same time.

Spatialism inspired the next generations by creating the premises that led many artists to base their artistic proposals on exceeding the confines of the work, on violating the canvas, on the need to rediscuss the times and ways of painting, on the need to review the very role of the painter and of the viewer. For these artists, the canvas becomes the soul of the entire work, the definitive supporting element, the thesis and the antithesis, the discovery of a new space that traditional technique could never have fostered.

The exhibition, inline with the premises set down by Azimut/h, aims to investigate those artists that had the courage to violate the canvas in order to rewrite history, building something unexpected and revolutionary on it based on a real use of space, on the investigation of time and on the analysis of the rhythm of structures. The intent of these artists was to give an unprecedented form to new energies vibrating in the world, in a time when consciousness of the existence of new forces and unprecedented needs tended to consider instruments in a different way, transforming the canvas from palimpsest to support structure and milieu where events take place.

Maurizio Vanni

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