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TURI SIMETI. WORKS 1960 - 2020

curated by Demetrio Paparoni

Milan, Dep Art Gallery

8 September – 22 December 2020

 

On the occasion of the Milan Art Week, Dep Art Gallery presents "Turi Simeti. Works 1960 - 2020", opening September 8 and running until December 22.  The exhibition brings together, until 22 December, about twenty large-format works, some of which come from important private collections, created from the beginning of his career to the present day. This choice therefore offers the opportunity to retrace the most representative phases of Simeti's artistic career, a key figure in the field of aniconic and volumetric painting of the Sixties that developed in Milan around the figure of Lucio Fontana. It was in Fontana's studio that Simeti exhibited his first everted canvases in 1965 in an exhibition curated by Nanda Vigo. Since 2013 the artist is represented by Dep Art gallery.

Curated by Demetrio Paparoni, the exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue in Italian and English, including updated bio-bibliographical apparatus and a text by the curator, who writes among other things:

"Starting with the Black Ovals and White Ovals made in 1962, and with the subsequent declinations both formal and chromatic, Turi Simeti conceived the painting as an autonomous object that does not illustrate, does not recount, does not represent. As autonomous objects that protrude into space as high-reliefs, these works can be considered both paintings and sculptures. They can be either one or the other. They have all the elements that constitute a painting - frame, canvas, colour - and are created to be hung on the wall. However, they are also sculptural because, having body and volume, they transcend the two-dimensionality of the painting. This ambiguity is deliberate and raises questions about the language and nature of art. It should not be forgotten that Simeti's work, parallel to that of Enrico Castellani, Agostino Bonalumi and Paolo Scheggi, started at the beginning of the 1960's, following the theoretical and formal thrust of Lucio Fontana's holes and cuts. There is already in this vision the seed of the dynamics of thought that will lead to the so-called analytical painting and conceptual art. [...] His work is an object supported by an internal architecture, a real body whose surface, the canvas, is nothing but the skin that covers it. It is therefore the method adopted for its construction that allows the work to embody a meaning that is expressed both in the solidity of the supporting structure, which we cannot see, which we can only imagine, and in the tension of the canvas, stretched as much as necessary to reach the maximum limit of extension.

Although it is understandable that Simeti believes that his works, as forms related to a method, are not subject to interpretation, it is nevertheless undeniable that there is no work of art that does not transcend the intentions of its author, ending up manifesting much more than he intended. In Simeti's work, for example, one can see a narrative that refers to the risk of going beyond what is permitted, a warning to avoid irremediable tears. Simeti himself explained that his concern is to force the elasticity of the canvas as much as possible without it tearing. The fracture, when it happens, does not allow the canvas to be recovered. His method presupposes that everything is under control, from the project for the carpenter who builds the frame to the artist's intervention to bring out the reliefs".

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