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Spagna - Burgos



72 x 47 cm
28 x 18.50 in







Four-colour screen printing

Screen-printed work entitled Spain - Burgos produced in 1969-1970,

During this period Vedova produced a series of works inspired by Spain after his long journey across the Iberian Peninsula, where he deepened his knowledge of Spanish painting and the social-political situation of the years of Franco's dictatorship, also coming into contact with local intellectuals.

His intense, sanguine, almost violent art, rendered with a fast, neurotic brushstroke - which he shares with Pollock - fits well with the atmosphere of those very difficult years in Spain.

The work is completely covered with black pen strokes that fill the entire space of the representation.

This artistic act is done by dipping a brush into a bucket of paint and then violently striking the surface of the canvas, as if to suffocate the white surface with contrasting colours.

This way of painting can be analysed as the act of wanting to suffocate an unconscious made up of memory, memories and conditioning, which cannot be swept away, but are momentarily suspended, to leave room for the sensations of surprise, the unexpected and the dimension of generative memory. Thus we understand that the power of the work translates into an exorbitant force that violently searches for its form, always reaching only a precarious equilibrium.

The serigraph is signed by hand in the lower left-hand corner and numbered 4/99.

1919 Venice, Italy


Emilio Vedova was born on August 9, 1919, in Venice. Essentially a self-taught artist, he joined the Milanese anti-Fascist artists’ association Corrente (Current, 1938–43), which also included Renato Birolli, Renato Guttuso, Ennio Morlotti, and Umberto Vittorini, around 1942. Vedova participated in the resistance movement from 1943 to 1945. In 1946 in Milan he collaborated with Morlotti on the manifesto “Oltre Guernica” (Beyond Guernica) and was a founding member of the Fronte Nuovo delle Arti (New art front, 1946–50), in Venice. He described his paintings of this period as Geometrie nere (Black geometries). Vedova’s first U.S. solo show was held at the Catherine Viviano Gallery, New York, in 1951. That same year he was awarded the prize for young painters at the first São Paulo Biennial. In 1952 he participated in the Gruppo degli Otto Pittori Italiani (Group of eight Italian painters, 1952–54), organized by Lionello Venturi, and exhibited at the Venice Biennale (following his 1948 debut). Vedova was the Italian representative at the first Documenta, Kassel, West Germany, in 1955 (again exhibiting in 1964) and won a Guggenheim International Award in 1956. He executed his first lithographs in 1958, the year he went to Poland for his retrospective at the Muzeum Narodowe, Poznań, and the Zachęta Narodowa Galeria Sztuki, Warsaw. In 1959 he exhibited his large L-shaped canvases, a cycle of work called Collision of Situations (Scontro di situazioni), in an environment created by Carlo Scarpa for Vitalità nell’arte (Vitality in art), which opened at the Palazzo Grassi, Venice, and traveled to the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. This led to the first Multiples (Plurimi, 1961–65): freestanding, hinged, and painted sculpture-paintings made of wood and metal. Vedova was awarded the Grand Prize for painting at the 1960 Venice Biennale, the year in which he created moving light sets and costumes for Luigi Nono’s opera Intolleranza ’60. Vedova worked at the Deutsche Akademischer Austausch Dienst, Berlin (1963–65); Internationale Sommerakademie, Salzburg, Austria (1965–69, 1988); and Accademia di belle arti, Venice (1975–86). In 1965 and 1983 he traveled in the United States, where he lectured extensively. For the Italian Pavilion at Expo 67, Montreal, he created a light collage using glass plates to project mobile images across a large asymmetric space. After the late 1970s, he experimented with a variety of techniques and formats such as the mobile works on steel rails (Binary-Multiples[Plurimi-Binari]), monotypes, double-sided circular panels (Disks [Dischi]), and large-scale glass engraving. In 1995 he began a new series of multifaceted and manipulable painted objects called Disk-Multiple (Disco-Plurimo). In 2005 he created a new group of monotypes, Spaces/Opposite (Spazi/Opposti), which was exhibited at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, the following year. In the last ten years of his life, Vedova’s contributions to art were recognized with numerous solo exhibitions as well as distinguished prizes, including the title of Cavaliere di Gran Croce della Repubblica Italiana (1996) and the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the Venice Biennale (1997). Vedova continued to actively experiment in painting and printmaking until he died on October 25, 2006, in Venice.

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