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  • Provenance

    Galleria Salvatore Ala, Milan

  • Exhibited

    San Marino, Palazzo dei Congressi, Vedova Compresenze 1946-1981, 1981; New York, Salvatore Ala Gallery, Emilio Vedova, 1989; Milan, Galleria Salvatore e Carolina Ala, Emilio Vedova, 1999; Milan, Galleria Salvatore e Carolina Ala, Emilio Vedova, 2005
     

  • Literature

    E. Vedova, Emilio Vedova, Milan, 2006, p. 107 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    One of post-war Italy’s most accomplished painters, Emilio Vedova was a radical artist both formally and thematically. Packed with rich movement and drama, his abstract canvases stood as a symbol of political freedom at a time when Italy had been ravaged by Fascism. Convinced that, by its nature, revolutionary art had to be abstract, Vedova created pictures filled with wild patterns of smeared, poured and dripped paint. Although he briefly took evening art classes at the Scuola dei Carmini in Venice, Vedova was a mainly self-taught artist who constantly sought to represent the plight of man in a world of aggressive confrontation and social injustice.
    Vedova was a major protagonist in the vigorous, highly politicized debate between realism and abstraction in Post-War Italy; and his raw, visceral paintings, influenced by Cubism and Futurism, reflected his left-wing convictions. He was a leader of several prominent movements such as Beyond Guernica, and urged fellow artists to engage with reality – meaning the anxiety and anguish of the period – without being naturalistic. His spontaneous, gestural painting style, reminiscent of the free abstraction of French art informel and American action painting, was coupled with explicitly political titles like his Cycle of Protest – a body of work to which the present lot belongs.
    Painted in Venice in the early 1960s, Ciclo is a large collation of forms, symbols and cipher-like signs combined into a dense, complex unity. Influenced by the Renaissance Italian master Tintoretto, a fellow Venetian, Vedova infuses the canvas with a colourful brilliance and freedom which give the work a sublime, primal beauty bursting with dynamism and energy. Like his contemporary Willem de Kooning, Vedova incorporated newspaper pages into his composition, lending Ciclo’s surface a highly textured, almost three dimensional quality, and demonstrating his interest in the social and political milieu of his time. He openly proclaimed that his paintings were articulations and responses to a broken world which he could only depict using abstraction; as he stated in 1962, his paintings are “a cry for freedom at all costs”.

25

Ciclo

1960-62
Oil and newspaper collage on canvas.
145 x 185 cm (57 1/8 x 72 3/4 in).




Signed, titled, inscribed and dated 'Emilio Vedova Ciclo 1960-62 Venezia' on the reverse.

Estimate
£400,000 - 600,000 

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

29 June 2010
London