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Catalogue of the exhibition held at the new Tornabuoni Gallery in Paris dedicated to the greatest exponents of Italian contemporary experimental art, with works ranging from the end of the 1950s to the late 1970s: Vincenzo Agnetti, Alighiero Boetti, Agostino Bonalumi, Alberto Burri, Enrico Castellani, Mario Ceroli, Gianni Colombo, Dadamaino, Lucio Fontana, Emilio Isgrò, Jannis Kounellis, Sergio Lombardo, Piero Manzoni, Paolo Scheggi and Giuseppe Uncini.
An interesting cross-section of Italian culture that demonstrates affinity, points of contact and divergence between these artists and their American experience, as highlighted by Achille Bonito Oliva in the famous exhibition “Minimalia”, first held in Venice (1997), then in Rome (1998) entitled “Minimalia. From Giacomo Balla to…”, and later at the Museum of Modern Art PS1 in New York (2000), with the title “Minimalia”. In the catalogue he wrote: “If North American Minimalism always tends towards pure geometrical reduction: the standard of the skyscraper and simplified form; within the severity of Italian ‘Minimalia’ form, we can identify complex lines that are not reducible to pure geometry”. He specified that, for Italian artists, geometry is not dogma, but a “prolific field of irregular reasoning that tends to develop its personal principles asymmetrically, preferring to surprise, and create strong feelings”.
We cannot fail to agree with Ilaria Bignotti when she states: “Simplification is complex: it is an all-out choice. The Italian minimalist artists are the heavyweights in the boxing ring of art – and life.”