Richard Saltoun Gallery is delighted to present a museum-scale exhibition of the pioneering abstractionist Bice LAZZARI, a new major retrospective in Rome following MACRO's in 2011.
Organised in collaboration with Archivio Bice Lazzari, Rome, the exhibition includes an impressive collection of works some of which have never been exhibited before - spanning over six decades (1920s–80s), which trace the different phases in the artist's oeuvre and offer a unique insight into Lazzari's lyricism and modernity, consolidating her position as a major figure in Italian art scene. The works one view come mostly from the artist's archive and will not be for sale, with the exception of a few pieces owned by the gallery.
Bice Lazzari (1900–1981) is one of the most influential figures in twentieth-century Italian art. During her long and prolific career she produced paintings, collages and works on paper that explore the aesthetics of Art Informel, Minimalism and Abstraction, leaving us a body of work that testifies to her extraordinary artistic sensibility and strength of character.
Born in Venice, Bice Lazzari trained in applied arts at Accademia di Belle Arti, as life drawing classes with nude models were deemed inappropriate for a young lady. When her father passed away in 1928 she took up designing fabrics, scarves, belts and carpets to provide for herself. Instead of seeing the circumstances as limiting, Lazzari saw an opportunity in operating within a field that allowed for experimentation. Drawing on modern decorative arts, which were often non-figurative in the late 20s she created her first abstract compositions, moving away from the Venetian landscape painting tradition in vogue at the time.
In 1935 Lazzari moved to Rome, then the centre of the Italian art scene, and started collaborating with architects and designers, including Gio Ponti and Attilio Lapadula. It's only after WWII that she resumed her artistic research and began to have her first exhibitions. However, soon after she had to abandon oil paint due to the damaging effect it had on her eyes and started experimenting with tempera, mixing it with sand and glue.In 1964 Lazzari reconsidered what were the essential elements of the pictorial surface - colour, sign and rhythm - and developed a new language using rhythmical graphite marks. At the end of 1970, she took up painting with acrylics and, compelled by this new medium, she turned towards minimalism and hard-edge abstraction, creating some of the most important works of her career in the last years of her life.
In parallel with the retrospective at Richard Saltoun Gallery, Ca' Pesaro museum in Venice presents Bice Lazzari: Fra Spazio e Misura (until 23 October), a spotlight exhibition on Bice Lazzari curated by Paola Ugolini, part of the Venice Art Biennale collateral events.
Press release courtesy Richard Saltoun Gallery.