The Armory Show

New York
7 - 10 March 2019

The Armory Show 2019
7-10 March 2019

Booth 314 | Pier 90

Mario Nigro - “Spazio totale”
Genesis of a New Space (1950-1956)
Curated by Francesca Pola (curator of Archivio Mario Nigro)

The exhibition presents the genesis and development, in between 1950 and 1956, of the seminal cycle “Spazio totale” (“Total Space”) by Mario Nigro, one of the great inventors of visual language in post-war Italy. This was the time when Alberto Burri’s material investigations, Lucio Fontana’s multi-dimensional, experimental Spazialismo, Giuseppe Capogrossi’s unmistakable sign and Emilio Vedova’s free gestural expressiveness were all becoming clearly established. Nigro’s creative development was adopting other fundamental ways of going beyond the formal investigations of the time, and it locked directly onto the roots of the avant-gardes in an international perspective.
Nigro chose to start out from the origins of non-objective experience: Piet Mondrian’s theosophical neoplasticism, Wassily Kandinsky’s expressive abstraction, and Giacomo Balla’s analytical dynamism, with its interpretation of spatial movement as an oppositive tension in psychic expansion. This led to his “Spazio totale” (“Total Space”), interpreting the drama of contemporary existence in a new cosmic perspective, and developed it in a close dialogue with the contemporary investigations into space being carried out by Lucio Fontana in his early years of Spazialismo. Nigro’s “Total Space”, like Fontana’s contemporary “Holes”, “Stones” and “Baroques”, was designed to penetrate in all directions, including the depth, as an investigation of the possible relationships of the cosmos. Unlike Fontana’s, Nigro challenge was to do this while remaining within the two dimensions of the canvas, rather than going outside of the specifics of painting.

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