At the end of the 1950s in Milan Agostino Bonalumi (born in Vimercate in 1935) is counted among the main exponents of the Informal movement, together with Enrico Castellani and Piero Manzoni. This movement aimed to react against the predominant artistic tendencies by enhancing the power of the subjective expression. Bonalumi’s research developed close to that of Castellani, by realising self-referential and monochrome artworks that explore the limits of three-dimensionality. These artworks are defined by Bonalumi as estroflessioni (extroflections) and are considered as truly object-paintings, due to the three-dimensional relief of the surface, achieved through the stretch of elastic canvases in particular looms. This procedure allows the artist to modulate the surface creating volumetric effects and the subsequent light and shadow effects.
His creative experimentations developed with extraordinary coherence, including intended innovations. In different occasions Bonalumi has extended the special tension of his artworks in order to create large dimension ambiences, such as the ones displayed at the Guggenheim Museum of Venice in 2002 and at the retrospective at the Mathildenhoe Institute of Darmstadt in 2004. In Turin this artist has exhibited in several group exhibitions, and had two solo shows (1967 at Punto an 1970 at Bussola). Therefore, this retrospective exhibition at Mazzoleni Art is considered as a particularly significant event.
This exhibition embraces artworks by Bonalumi. The main focus of this exhibition is concentrated into the first experiments, with masterpieces such as Nero (1968), Bianco e Nero (1968), one of the few monochrome Bianco (1971) and the large-scale Blu (1973), realised in volumetric varnished canvas. The most recent artworks (2007-2008) show a development towards unpredictable and fluid modulations. These artworks are monochrome (blue, green, yellow, red, white and magenta) and demonstrate the endless plastic energy of Bonalumi’s creative methodology.