Robilant+Voena are pleased to present Painting in Italy 1910s-1950s: Futurism, Abstraction, Concrete Art, a group show curated by Gian Enzo Sperone, which follows on from the successful exhibition held at Sperone Westwater gallery in 2015. The exhibition, which is on view from 25 May - 15 July 2016, at Robilant+Voena’s London gallery, will bring together 86 works realised by 26 influential Italian painters, born between the end of the 19th century and the 1920s and who were active before, during and after the Second World War. Encompassing three major artistic movements and spanning five decades, the show will illustrate the great diversity and originality of abstract Italian art.
This survey show will begin with Futurist abstraction, bringing together early works by Giacomo Balla, and the unique organic abstraction of Enrico Prampolini. The 1930s gave rise to the group of Milanese abstractionists including Atanasio Soldati, Mario Radice, Mauro Reggiani, Manlio Rho and Luigi Veronese. These artists exhibited in the influential Galleria del Milione, which soon became the catalyst for artists, architects, designers and poets and which was later to be pivotal in the careers of the Zero group. The final era the exhibition will focus on is from the immediate post-war years up the mid-1950s, when abstraction and concrete art manifested a cultural renewal and engagement, becoming antagonistic to ideologies which favoured realism. As the dust settled, a number of artists faced with this historical juncture, identified abstract art as the only language capable of eradicating the past, and at the same time generating a new era of universal values. It was artists such as Atanasio Soldati, Bruno Munari, the painter and critic Gillo Dorfles and the architect-designer Gianni Monnet, who were then able to pioneer these aforementioned movements.
Painting in Italy 1910s-1950s: Futurism, Abstraction, Concrete Art aims to illustrate how the political and social events that took place during the Italian inter-war and post-war period have greatly influenced the artistic production of those who witnessed it. Deeply transformed by totalitarianism, World War II, and the Italian civil war, this group of artists, through shapes, lines and colours, challenged the traditions of their time and denied the representation of reality in favour of a radically new expression of feeling.
“The most radical representatives are to be found in Italy, where there are perhaps 20 of them. They sprout like mushrooms thereafter a downpour.”
(Kandinsky, 1936, letter to Will Grohmann)
Artists in the exhibition: Giacomo Balla, Corrado Cagli, Roberto Crippa, Ezio D’Errico, Giulio D’Anna, Fortunato de Pero, Nicolaj Diulgheroff, Gerardo Dottori, Fillia, Albino Galvano, Alberto Magnelli, Sante Monachesi, Gianni Monnet, Bruno Munari, Mario Nigro, Ideo Pantaleoni, Adriano Parisot, Enrico Prampolini, Mario Radice, Mauro Reggiani, Manlio Rho, Filippo Scroppo, Atanasio Soldati, Ettore Sottsass, Giulio Turcato, and Luigi Veronesi.