ARTURO BONFANTI: PAINTINGS, RELIEFS AND SCULPTURE 1960 - 1972

8 June - 27 July 2012

Including works by:
Arturo Bonfanti

We are pleased to present the first solo exhibition in the UK of Italian modern master Arturo Bonfanti (1905 -1987).

Arturo Bonfanti was born in Bergamo in 1905. He settled in Milan in 1926, then the centre of the Italian Avant-garde. He worked for many years as a designer and graphic artist for publishers, painting in his spare time. His early figurative works echo the ethereal still lifes of Giorgio Morandi whom he revered, this influence is particularly apparent in his work Natura Morta, 1938. The work of Morandi remained important throughout his life.  Bonfanti’s first exhibition was at Galleria Permanente in Bergamo in 1927, though few of the works from this period have survived. In the subsequent years Bonfanti showed little of his work and it was not until decades later that he would exhibit regularly.

Frequent visits to Paris after the Second World War brought many influential friendships among who included Alberto Magnelli, Hans Arp and Gerard Schneider and in the UK with Victor Pasmore and Ben Nicholson. This international awareness had a notable influence on his style and from 1950 onwards Bonfanti dedicated himself to the concrete manifesto, “[the] purpose of concrete art is to represent abstract thoughts in reality, in such a way that the senses perceive them.” [Max Bill]. Bonfanti rejected the object and the figure entirely in favour of pure forms, colour and line. However his works stray away from the stark rationality of some concrete artists. There is something poetic and subtle in his use of colour and soft line, each work is unmistakably his, yet each has a strong individual character. The term ‘Poetic Geometry’ has been used in reference to his work; it seems to fit well.

Despite his quiet nature and solitary working habits Bonfanti found acclaim in the late 1950s, exhibiting with Galleria Lorenzelli, Bergamo in 1959; the first of many exhibitions he was to have in the gallery. Bonfanti also exhibited with the famed Galeria Denise René, Paris in 1962 as well as participating in the 1968 Venice Biennale and the 1969 X Sao Paulo Biennale, the former of which had a room solely dedicated to his work.

The exhibition will feature paintings reliefs and sculpture from 1961 – 1972. A catalogue will be available as well as copies of the new catalogue Raisone published last year. The exhibition is in collaboration with Lorenzelli Arte, Milan.

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