Bice Lazzari was one of the most innovative Italian abstractionists of the 20th century. Described as the 'Agnes Martin of Italy', she was largely unknown outside her country of birth, despite her significant contributions to Abstract and Minimal art. Lazzari began her training in Venice during the 1920s. As a woman, she was advised not to pursue figurative drawing and to become a designer. In 1935 Lazzari moved to Rome, then the centre of the Italian art scene, and started to receive commissions from Gio Ponti and Carlo Scarpa. In the 1950s, she returned to painting, creating abstract compositions that encompassed the gestural techniques of informalism. Lazzari worked with oil paint until 1964, when she was forced to stop due to the damaging effects to her eyes. Forced to retrain with a new medium - acrylic paint - she turned to hard-edge abstraction, making some of the most important works of her career towards the last fifteen years of her life.Read More
The first solo exhibition of Lazzari's work in the UK was held at Sotheby's S|2 Gallery in London in 2018. Her work has been exhibited in prominent exhibitions, including Bice Lazzari: La Poetica del Segno, Museo Novecento, Florence, Italy (2019); The Poetry of Mark-Making, The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C., USA (2019); Themes & Variations, Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, Italy (2011); Bice Lazzari: Signature Line, National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA), Washington, D.C., USA; and From Futurism to Abstraction, Museo del Corso, Rome, Italy (2002). Her work is included in notable private and public collections worldwide.
Text courtesy Richard Saltoun Gallery.
As a young woman trying to educate herself to become an artist in the 1930s and '40s in Fascist Italy, Bice Lazzari once said that the only resource she had was illegally imported art magazines. "For
Lazzari's career was a long one—she died in 1981—which means that this exhibition of thirteen paintings and four works on paper from 1967 through 1976 could give only a partial idea of her range; in p