From September 6th to November 9th, 2019, Galerie Knoell presents an exhibition by italian artist Eduarda Emilia Maino - better known as Dadamaino (1930-2004). As one of very few women in the post-war avant-garde movement, she was actively part of many artistic movements and groups, including the Spazialismo-movement by Lucio Fontana, whith artist members like Piero Manzoni, Gianni Colombo, Enrico Castellani and Agostino Bonalumi. Also, she was part of the German ZERO-Gruppe with artists like Günther Uecker, Heinz Mack, Otto Piene and more.
The exhibition with retrospective character includes part of her first series of works from the 1950‘s as well as some later works done shortly before her death. Defined by her constant commitment to stilistic progression, Dadamaino‘s oeuvre which spans almost five decades, focuses on the exploration of themes that revolve around the expression of dynamism, space, materiality, volume and absence. Another integral part of her work is the relationship between construction and destruction.
Her first truly notable works were created from 1958 to 1960 and are titled Volumi. These striking, monochrome canvases washed in black or eggshell-coloured tempera each feature one or several large holes cut into their surface. They can be read as gestures, pointing toward an ultimate goal in this series: the removal of matter. The emptiness presented by Dadamaino‘s cut voids transforms the space behind the canvas from a hidden, invisible and unseen entity into the framed, visual forefront of the work, creating a three-dimensional concept on canvas that seems hostile and damaged as well as dynamic.
Although the kinship to the works of Lucio Fontana (1899-1968) is obvious, Dadamaino constantly developed her own, independent artistic oeuvre, which is defined by its radicality and therefore is set apart from the ones of her male colleagues.
Whilst her later series of works, Movimento delle Cose from 1987-1996 and Sein und Zeit from 1996-2003 might first appear different from her early works in both their aesthetic and their medium, the works do share important influences and concepts with her early works. For this group of works the artist used a new form of semi-translucent plastic polyester, inscribed with dashes of ink. They were designed to be strung up through a room, unflolding as a curtain-like installation. The translucency of the polyester material allowed Dadamaino to conquer space, filling it with sign after sign and quite literally drawing through the air. So here again the artist works with varying concepts of room and space, volume and void, material and the immaterial.
Dadamainos extensive body of works is part of countless collections and museums, the Tate Modern London, the Solomun R. Guggenheim, Venice and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, just to name a few.