MAKE IT NEW!
Tomas Rajlich and abstract art in Italy
Genoa, Museum of Contemporary Art Villa Croce
4 May – 20 June 2021
The Museum of Contemporary Art Villa Croce is dedicating a large retrospective to a major international interpreter of abstract (non-figurative) art, the Czech-born, Dutch naturalised artist Tomas Rajlich, in dialogue with some key works from the museum collection, from the abstract art of the Second World War to the optical and preconceptual experiments of the 1960s, Op Art and the New Painting – Analytical Painting – of the 1970s and 1980s.
The exhibition is curated by Cesare Biasini Selvaggi and Flaminio Gualdoni, accompanied by a catalogue published by Silvana Editoriale with contribution by Martin Dostál. With more than eighty works, it presents an unparalleled panorama of the specific artistic trajectory and vitality expressed by aniconic painting.
The exhibition has been produced by the Genoa Local Authority with the collaboration of ABC-ARTE, contemporary art gallery in Genoa.
After the grand abstract era of the 1930s, with Modernism at its peak, artists in the 1960s and 1970s emphasised its qualities in terms of form and content. It is debatable whether the emphasis at the time on minimalism, the potential of conceptualism and the aesthetic of reduction may perhaps have created a gulf between the artists and their public, but it is equally evident that this phase represented not only a necessity, but also a period to whose (still vital) legacy contemporary art is returning without any break in continuity. This is not only because of the need for historical and critical recognition, but also for the surprising rediscovery of its efficacy, quality, conceptual genius and abstract expressivity. It constitutes a genuine stock of starting points and stimuli on which to base a lively inquiry today.
And here we are not far from the title of the exhibition MAKE IT NEW! – the focus of an original approach to the inexhaustible innovative force of aniconic painting, which has traversed the 20th century down to our own times.
The presentation of the works of Tomas Rajlich, which document more than half a century of inquiry, starts with the early experiments in sculpture from the late 1960s, and ends with his latest works, with their variations on the intensity, luminosity and consistency of painting itself by means of highly refined textures of material and colour.
The works alternate from room to room as they confront and enter into dialogue with a judicious selection and arrangement of precious works by Italian abstract masters, mainly taken from the collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art Villa Croce: Getulio Alviani, Rodolfo Aricò, Agostino Bonalumi, Enzo Cacciola, Antonio Calderara, Nicola Carrino, Gianni Colombo, Pietro Consagra, Dadamaino, Piero Dorazio, Lucio Fontana, Marco Gastini, Giorgio Griffa, Riccardo Guarneri, Paolo Icaro, Osvaldo Licini, Piero Manzoni, Fausto Melotti, Bruno Munari, Martino Oberto, Claudio Olivieri, Arnaldo Pomodoro, Mauro Reggiani, Antonio Scaccabarozzi, Paolo Scheggi, Turi Simeti, Atanasio Soldati, Giuseppe Uncini, Nanni Valentini, Claudio Verna, Gianfranco Zappettini.
An unconventional succession of paintings, drawings and sculptures that share the same aesthetic as the Czech artist awaits the visitor. The focus on Italian aniconic art was decided by Rajlich himself in relation to the exhibition spaces of Villa Croce and those artists who have worked most radically from the 1950s onwards on abstraction and the minimal use of colour. Visitors will encounter such works as Achrome (1958) by Piero Manzoni, Cementarmato (1960) by Giuseppe Uncini, Bianco (1967) by Agostino Bonalumi, Tema II e 7 variazioni (1969-70) by Fausto Melotti, Concetto spaziale, Attese (1967) by Lucio Fontana.
MAKE IT NEW! Tomas Rajlich and abstract art in Italy
Location: Museum of Contemporary Art Villa Croce, via Iacopo Ruffini 3, Genoa
Open: 4 May – 20 June 2021
Curators: Cesare Biasini Selvaggi and Flaminio Gualdoni
Catalogue: Silvana Editoriale
Press conference: 4 May at 12:00. Its form will depend on the Covid restrctions in force at the time.
Inauguration: Wednesday 3 May from 17:00 to 19:30 hrs. Its form will depend on the Covid restrctions in force at the time.
Sponsor: ABC-ARTE, Galleria d’arte contemporanea - Genoa
Technical sponsor: Boero Colori
Visting hours: thursday from 3pm to 7pm; friday-saturday-sunday from 11:00 to 19:00;
Ticket office: full ticket: € 5; reduced ticket: € 3 (disabled people, over 65 anni citizen from UE); free entrance: every Sunday for residents in Genoa Municipality, childrens within 18 years, persons accompanying visitors with disabilities.
Suggested the online ticket purchase with Ticketone https://www.ticketone.it/artist/arte-contemporanea-villa-croce/ or by phone at +39 010 580069 (thursday and friday: from 3pm to 7pm)