Monday, February 06, 2017

Venice: Peggy Guggenheim Collection - My Weapon Against the Atom Bomb is a Blade of Grass – Tancredi - A Retrospective

 “Tancredi, through his painting, creates a new poetic philosophy for those who have neither telescopes nor rockets: how lucky we are to have such crystallizations that transport us safe and sound toward other
Peggy Guggenheim

Venice:  Peggy Guggenheim Collection - My Weapon Against the Atom Bomb is a Blade of Grass – Tancredi - A Retrospective. The Peggy Guggenheim Collection presents the exhibition My Weapon Against the Atom Bomb is a Blade of Grass. Tancredi. A Retrospective, curated by Luca Massimo Barbero, until March 13. With over ninety works, this much-awaited retrospective marks the return to Venice of Tancredi Parmeggiani (Feltre 1927–Rome 1964), among the most original and prolific Italian painters of the second half of the twentieth century. Tancredi was the only artist, after Jackson Pollock, whom Peggy Guggenheim placed under contract, promoting his work, making it known to museums and collectors in the USA, and organizing shows, including one in her own home, Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, in 1954. More than sixty years later, with this show, Tancredi returns to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, his reputation now beyond question, with remarkable paintings that re-create, step by step in intimate galleries, between creative fury and lyrical expressionism, the brief but meteoric trajectory of this great postwar painter.

Tancredi – (Untitled) City  
1954 – mixed media on canvas
Tancredi imagined Venice from above, evoking the atmosphere of the city in Winter, with fog filtering the light and thinning the crowd of buildings that characterizes the urban landscape.

Tancredi – Springtime
1951 - Gouache and crayon on paper
It is an ‘abstract universal landscape’ painted with three small dots and dabs of the brush in manner that makes one think of flowery fields, sky and earth. This is a prime example of Tancredi’s first Informal style.

Tancredi – (Untitled)  Balloons on the Swamp
1953 – mixed media on Masonite

Tancredi – (Untitled) Sojourn in Venice
1954 – Oil on Masonite
Tancredi depicts a lagoon-scape of pure abstraction, with a highly atmospheric effect.  Perhaps this signified his return to a calm life in Venice, after failed attempts to establish himself in Paris and Rome.


Tancredi – A Propos of Norwegian Atmosphere 1
1959 – Mixed media on masonite
In 1959 Tancredi traveled to Norway with his wife Tove and discovered an entirely new landscape beyond that of the lagoon, composed of a colder but nonetheless intense light.  It was after this trip that colors such as green, which had rarely appeared in his work, began to take on a dominant role.

 Tancredi – Untitled
(Flowers 101% Painted by Me and by Others No.8)
1962 – Mixed media and collage on canvas with pencil and crayon on paper
Tancredi sometimes used drawings of his own in his collages, using in particular doodles from his Witticisms series.  In this case, Tancredi applied a large square of gauze towards the right of the canvas to create an effect of transparency within the painting, and glued, directly below it a drawing a scene from a film still of another reality inserted into the painting but intentionally detached from it.

Peggy Guggenheim Collection – The interns


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