Agostino Bonalumi - The Great Wonderful: 100 Years of Italian Art New York Wednesday, May 13, 2015 | Phillips

Create your first list.

Select an existing list or create a new list to share and manage lots you follow.

  • Provenance

    Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    In the late 1950s, Agostino Bonalumi met fellow Milanese artists Enrico Castellani and Piero Manzoni. As each was interested in the artwork as a material entity, a close association developed between the three. The esteemed critic Gillo Dorfles coined the term “pittura oggetto” to describe their work; building on Lucio Fontana’s conceptual innovations, they attended to the artwork as an object in its own right rather than as a strictly representational form.

    From the earliest stages of his career, Bonalumi used monochrome canvases. Under these, he placed struts to reshape their surfaces, creating ridges, protrusions and undulations. He was a sculptor of the canvas, and his are works full of contours and elevations. These “estroflessioni” forms are taut and abstract, straining towards the viewer.

    The relation of color and shadow is a key consideration in Bonalumi’s work. Such is the case in Bianco; for the most part, the piece is extroverted, advancing outwards. There are points where the underlying struts recede and ridges give way to areas of light mist, imbuing the piece with curious ambivalence. His canvas rises and falls. It is a form full of suspense that traces the lines of pressure and space. Like much of his oeuvre, Bianco suggests an object hidden by the canvas, pushing against and stretching its surface. It is a subtle and entrancing interplay of shape and shadow



vinyl tempera on shaped canvas
53 3/4 x 71 3/8 x 2 1/2 in. (136.4 x 181.4 x 6.5 cm)
Signed and dated "Bonalumi 79" on the reverse. This work is registered with the Archivio Bonalumi, Milan, under archive number 79-091.

$270,000 - 320,000 

Sold for $341,000

Contact Specialist
Brittany Lopez Slater
Head of International Exhibitions
New York
+1 212 940 1299

Carolina Lanfranchi
+39 338 924 1720

The Great Wonderful: 100 Years of Italian Art

New York 13 May 2015 4pm