Curated by Francesca Pola, this exhibition features a selection of significant sculptural works exemplifying the influential six decade career of Italian artist Agostino Bonalumi (1935-2013). The bold sculptures and inventive canvases of this pivotal figure of Post-War Italian Art helped to shape the course of Abstract Art, alongside artists such as Piero Manzoni and Enrico Castellani who sought to blur the boundaries between the two and three dimensional.
Bonalumi is most recognised for his Picture-Objects, created through ‘extroflection’ – a process using frames fixed to the backs of canvases to deform them, which led to later work including sculptures and immersive environments. Born in Vimercate, Milan, Bonalumi was a self-taught painter who took up art after abandoning his mechanical design studies. His artwork has been exhibited internationally since the late 1950s, although he was also involved in set and costume design: in 1970 collaborating with Susanna Egri’s ballet Partita, Verona, and in 1972 with the ballet Rot, Rome. In 2001 he was awarded the Presidente della Repubblica Prize by the National Academy of San Luca, while his work is held in several museum collections including the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.
Including large-scale forms in fibreglass next to those created in bronze to reflect light, and wall based works created from metal sheets structured to give movement, the exhibition is a comprehensive overview of the artist’s broad oeuvre. Despite the work dating from the 1960s until the 2010s, in its materiality the work appears incredibly contemporary even today, and makes clear Bonalumi’s significant contribution to the ongoing development of art history.
Bonalumi Sculptures, 6 February – 8 May 2015, Mazzoleni, 27 Albermarle Street, London W1S 4HZ.
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1. Agostino Bonalumi, Bronzo, 1969-2007. Courtesy of Archivio Bonalumi and Mazzoleni London.