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 anthological exhibition celebrates not only the sixty-year-long career of one of the most representative living artists of the Italian twentieth century but also the collaboration between Turi Simeti and the Dep Art Gallery which has been lasting for several years. For the exhibition, the curator Demetrio Paparoni has selected about twenty large-format works, which unfold in a chronological path, depicting the most salient achievements of the artist's research.
As early as the Sixties, Simeti conceived his artwork as an autonomous object that does not illustrate, narrate or depict. Halfway between painting and sculpture, Simeti's work possesses the constituent elements of the first (canvas, colour) and is thought to be hung on the wall. On the other hand, it has a body and volume that take it beyond two-dimensionality.
In his approach to painting, Simeti has already sown the seed that will make Analytical Painting blossom a few years later. This becomes evident in the splendid collages Composizione from 1961 and 'Ovali bianchi' from 1965 which are included in the exhibition as two works from the artist's first years of research.
The other decisive moment for Simeti's art was at the end of the Sixties, in 1967, when the geometric form was definitively transformed into a protruding volume. This can be seen in the work on canvas Un ovale grigio from 1970, also part of the Milanese show.
Putting this into a larger perspective, one can say, that the artist of the Fifties and Sixties could be divided into those who will remain consistent with their origins and those who will move on different terrain. Simeti belongs to the former, taking the rigor and control of the artistic gesture to the extreme: he elected a primary element as a multiplying sign of his artistic action–the oval–and transformed it into an identifying cell of his being as an artist. The oval, sustained by a supporting architecture and a skin, and the canvas stretched to its maximum possibility. Take for example, Un ovale nero, a large work of 150 x 140 cm from 1980 in comparison to the more recent 7 ovali ocra (2019, 150 x 150 cm) and 5 ovali rossi (2020, 90 x 180 cm) which the public can all admire in the exhibition.
As objects resulting from the application of a method that remains substantially the same, Simeti considers his works not subject to interpretation, but–as Paparoni reminds us in his text in the catalogue–'it is undeniable, however, that there is no work of art that does not transcend the intentions of its author, ending up manifesting much more than he intended'.
The choice of the ellipse, which lends itself to asymmetrical forms and more subjective visions, the inclination that the artist gives it, which alters its color according to the way the light reflects it and according to the viewer's point of view, makes his art a direct expression of his spiritual needs.
The exhibition is accompanied by a bilingual catalogue, in Italian and English, with updated bio-bibliographical apparatus and a critical text by Demetrio Paparoni
Press release courtesy Dep Art Gallery.