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60 x 70 x 10 cm
23.62 x 28 x 3.94 in







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Agostino Bonalumi was an Italian artist mostly known for his “extroflections” - shapes that emerged from a stretched canvas embossed in relief - that were born as a response to Arte Informel abstractions of the 1950s. His monochromatic artworks have broken through the two-dimensional picture plane and engaged with space and texture in new ways. Being in the presence of art was important for the painter and sculptor, since he had said that "beauty must be lived, not guaranteed."

Bonino Gallery, New York The Members Gallery, Albright Knox Gallery
Buffalo Folini Arte, Chiasso Poleschi Arte, Lucca - Milano - Pietrasanta

1935 Vimercate, Italy

Agostino Bonalumi was born on 10 July 1935 in Vimercate, Milan. He carries out studies of technical and mechanical design. He held his first personal exhibition in 1956 at the Galleria Totti in Milan. In 1958 the Bonalumi, Castellani and Manzoni group was born with an exhibition at the Galleria Pater in Milan, which will be followed by other exhibitions in Rome, Milan and Lausanne. In 1961 at the Kasper Gallery in Lausanne he was among the founders of the "New European School" group.

Arturo Schwarz acquires his works and in 1965 presents a personal exhibition of Bonalumi in his gallery in Milan, with a catalog presentation by Gillo Dorfles. In 1966 he began a long period of collaboration with the Galleria del Naviglio in Milan, which will represent him exclusively, publishing in 1973 for the Edizioni del Naviglio through the monograph edited by Gillo Dorfles. In 1966 he was invited to the Venice Biennale with a group of works and in 1970 with a personal room. Following a period of study and work in the countries of Mediterranean Africa and the United States where he is present with a person at the Bonino gallery in New York.

In 1967 he was invited to the Sao Paulo Biennale and in 1968 to the Paris Youth Biennial. He created works of painting-environment such as, in 1967, "Blu Abitabile" for the exhibition "The Space of the Image", in Foligno; in 1968 "Grande Nero", for a solo show at the Museum am Ostwall in Dortmund; in 1979, as part of the exhibition, curated by Francesca Alinovi and Renato Barilli, "Painting Environment" at the Royal Palace of Afilano, the work "From yellow to white and from white to yellow", where the environment considered activity of the man, is analyzed as a primary and psychological activity, as well as in "White Environment - Space withheld and invaded space", created in 2002 for the Guggenheim Foundation in Venice. In 1980, curated by the Lombardy Region, it was set up at Palazzo Te di Mantova, with the care of Flavio Caroli and Gillo Dorfles, an extensive exhibition illustrating the entire span of his work.

The National Academy of San Luca awarded Agostino Bonalumi the 2001 "President of the Republic Award" for sculpture. On the occasion a retrospective exhibition of the artist in the halls of the Academy is presented, accompanied by a monograph edited by Achille Perilli. He worked on set design, realizing in 1970 for the Roman Theater of Verona scenes and costumes for the ballet "Partita", music by Goffredo Petrassi, choreography by Susanna Egri; and in 1972 for the Teatro dell'Opera of Rome the scenes and costumes of "Rot", music by Domenico Guaccero, choreography by Amedeo Amodio. He has made artist books for the Colophon Editions of Belluno and for the Edizioni II Bulinodi Roma; he has published collections of poetry for the same Colophon, for Book Publisher and for the Edizioni Poli Art. He died on 18 September 2013.

A leading figure of the Italian avant-garde, Agostino Bonalumi explored the plasticity of the canvas in his object paintings and contributed to the emergence of irregularly shaped canvases in the postwar period. “My generation lived through the academy of the Arte Informel, when it was triumphant, and at a certain point that expressiveness which was purely appearance and not form, was not enough,” Bonalumi, who thrice exhibited in the Venice Biennale, once said. An ally of the German artist group Zero, Bonalumi—along with peers and friends Enrico Castellani and Piero Manzoni—was inspired by Lucio Fontana’s sliced canvases. He elaborated upon Fontana’s work, developing what he called “extroflexions”—intricate stretchers that molded his vinyl-coated monochromatic canvases and suggested a force pushing out from beneath. In the 1960s, Bonalumi expanded his materials to include metals, and he enlarged the scale of his work, ultimately creating installations.

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