May 05July 10, 2016

Gianfranco Zappettini

Curated by: Alberto Fiz

From 5 May 2016, in its historic gallery in Piazza Solferino 2, Turin, Mazzoleni Galleria d’Arte is presenting for the first time an extensive solo show devoted to Gianfranco Zappettini, curated by Alberto Fiz.
The exhibition features a selection of 50 works, ranging from the Vibrazioni su superficie acriliche of 1967 to the most recent pieces from 2016 from the series La Trama e l’Ordito. A comprehensive overview of the work of an artist who has distinguished himself as one of the protagonists of Analytic Painting, the movement to which in its London gallery Mazzoleni is devoting the first exhibition in the United Kingdom (18 May – 23 July 2016).
Gianfranco Zappettini also played a key role as a theorist of Analytic Painting and in the July of 1974 wrote: “Only through an analytic approach that tackles the problem of painting as painting, of the material, of the way of using it, of the work this implies, of the painted surface, of the dimensions, can we reconstruct a new, truly independent language that is not borrowed from other disciplines.”
The Turin exhibition will also feature the most significant experiments of the 1970s when Zappettini began creating his “bianchi” or “whites” – apparently monochrome surfaces, traversed by the presence of more luminous lines – on the basis of a strand of research that originated with Piero Manzoni and Robert Ryman.
It then proceeds with the Tele sovrapposte, a cycle presented at Documenta in Kassel in 1977, where on the same stretcher, Zappettini overlaid a number of canvases on which he traced anonymous lines in graphite in ever decreasing numbers, through to the final canvas on which remained just the delimitation of the space.
The series La Trama e l’Ordito initiated in 2004 is broad and varied: the ordito or warp with its fixed verticality, references the immutable element; while the trama or weft, the horizontal thread weaving through the warp threads, symbolizes the variable, contingent, accidental element. This series represents the opportunity for rethinking, without conditioning, the superimposition of vertical and horizontal lines, infinite traces and lines of force that tend to modify the internal equilibria of the work in a rhythmic tension between solid and void.
The artist’s recent output introduce us to the works of the last two years that, characterise by lightness and transparency, seem to reference the Tele sovrapposte of the 1970s.
The overlaying of the wallnet- glassfibre mesh used in construction to reinforce walls – painted with a house painter’s roller, conceals the geometric figures in works with tactile and sensorial aspects in which rectangles, diamonds or more frequently circles appear. A creative development initiated in the late 1960s that permits a profound and particularly topical reflection on the medium of paint through independent and courageous research that has never betrayed its foundations.

As Alberto Fiz writes, “The primacy of the choices (the industrial paints, the replacement of the brush with the house painter’s roller) and the analysis of the basic linguistic elements that interact between themselves lead towards an informed vision that permits the validation of the fundamental data of painting, producing a result far greater than the initial data. The artist provides for the operational constants and with them the variance with respect to an idea that each time requires confirmation to be found.”
The catalogue, in Italian and English, is published by Carlo Cambi Editore and includes an essay by Alberto Fiz, together with previously unpublished letters and documents.