Recto Verso: Behind the Italian Monochrome

‘Recto/Verso: Behind the Italian Monochrome’ at Tornabuoni Art London invites viewers to literally ‘go behind the scenes’of paintings by Lucio Fontana, Paolo Scheggi, Agostino Bonalumi and Turi Simeti, for the first time ever.  Visitors are offered the chance of an experience that has until now been reserved for museum curators and top collectors – that of seeing the verso (back) of the artworks, one for each of four artists among those who best represent the Milanese avant-garde that emerged in Italy in the 1950s and 1960s. These four paintings will be suspended from the ceiling above plinths so that viewers can walk around them. They are accompanied by over 20 works by the same artists, hung classically on the wall, so viewers will also havethe opportunity to see the works as they were meant to be exhibited.

The back of works by Lucio Fontana and other artists engaging with his Spatialist concepts, such as Paolo Scheggi, Agostino Bonalumi and Turi Simeti, however, is, in fact, more significant than the back of most paintings. Indeed at the core of Spatialist ideas, which Fontana theorised for the first time in the Manifiesto Blanco, 1946, lies a desire to open up the space behind the canvas in order to liberate the infinite dimensional possibilities that lie beyond it: “We are abandoning the use of known forms of art and we are initiating the development of an art based on the unity of time and space” – Lucio Fontana, Manifiesto Blanco, 1946

To see the back of a painting is a rare and intimate way of experiencing a work of art. Its structure is unveiled, revealing the inscriptions and stamps that trace the physical journey of the painting from its creation in the artist’s studio, to museums, galleries and collections around the world. ‘Recto/Verso: Behind the Italian Monochrome’ at Tornabuoni Art London provides the first 360 degree experience of the works of the Italian avant-garde. This exhibition demonstrates the artists’ desire to blur the lines between painting and sculpture, by
showing four artworks the same way they were created: in three dimensions.

Duration 20 April 2017 - 17 June 2017
Times Monday to Friday 10:00 am - 6:00 pm Saturday 10:30 am - 5:00 pm
Cost Free
Venue Tornabuoni Art
Address 46 Albemarle Street, London, W1S 4JN
Contact / /

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