From May 10, 2024 to May 14, 2024

TEFAF New York 2024

TEFAF New York | Park Avenue Armory, New York | Booth 335
Preview (by invitation only): 9 May
Public Days: 10 – 14 May

Mazzoleni is thrilled to return to TEFAF New York this Spring with a group exhibition dedicated to some of the most iconic contributions of Italian masters from the latter half of the 20th century: Lucio Fontana, Alberto Burri, Alighiero Boetti, and Salvo. Despite their distinctly different practices, each of these artists profoundly influenced the advancement of new creative experiments with language, space, colour and time, from Fontana’s development of Spatialism to Salvo’s transfixing landscapes.

In conjunction with these Italian masters, the presentation will also feature an outstanding representation of contemporary artist Alex Katz’s (1927) large-scale portraiture, entitled Stephanie (2006). This work, an example of his iconic “specific” portraits, showcases the renowned characteristics of Katz’s work, including its striking cropping, concise lines and distinctive pink lips.

Official website

At the centre of the presentation, the work of Fontana, Burri and Boetti navigates three differing practices and methodologies while communicating a distinctly Italian approach to the ideas of time, space, matter and dimensionality. Lucio Fontana’s (1899 – 1968) work transcended the canvas, revolutionising the very essence of the medium. Fontana conceived art as a dynamic dimension of pictorial space, a practice he clarified in his theory of Spatialism.

Alberto Burri, 1915 - 1995
Bianco Plastica, 1965
Plastic, acrylic, Vinavil and combustion on Celotex
75 x 100 cm - - 29 1/2 x 39 3/8 in

Both Fontana and Alberto Burri’s (1915 – 1995) work embodies a release from the canvas and paint, pushing boundaries in the exploration of materials and energetic gestures. This is evident in Burri’s renowned series Plastiche (Plastics), which drew widespread acclaim for its innovative medium and startling effects. A highlight of this series includes Bianco Plastica (1965), which exemplifies Burri’s belief in the limitless potential of materiality, employing fire as his ‘brush’ and exploiting its full potential for destructive creativity.

Alighiero Boetti (1940 – 1994) continues this exploration of time and space, employing the medium of biro in his series of works entitled Aerei. Within Aerei (1978) the airplanes depicted are temporary and transient objects, that both appear and disappear from the confines of the work’s surface. While the work may appear chaotic, each biro mark is positioned as part of an analytical decision, with the repetitiveness representing the limitless possibilities a surface contains.

Alighiero Boetti, 1940 - 1994
Aerei, 1978
Ballpoint blue pen on paper
36.4 x 81.3 cm - - 14 3/8 x 32 1/8 in
Salvo, 1947-2015
La valle, 2006
Oil on canvas
100 x 130 cm - - 39 3/8 x 51 1/8 in

While Boetti and Salvo’s (1947 – 2015) careers were closely intwined throughout the 1960s, by the 1970s Salvo had pivoted away from conceptual work, creating hyper-saturated imagined landscapes and cityscapes. Within these landscapes, time is held still through Salvo’s unique ability to capture the light and thus a specific moment in time. This is reflected in La Valle (2006) where the viewer is transported into a world of the imaginary, a sleepy town nestled in a valley, suspended in time and the serenity Salvo has created.