New York: 'Afro Burri Fontana' at Haunch of Venison through May 12, 2012

April 22nd, 2012

Lucio Fontana, Concetto Spaziale, Attese (1968). All images via Haunch of Venison and the estates of the artists.

The Elena Geuna curated “Afro Burri Fontana” exhibition is on now at Haunch of Venison‘s Chelsea space, 550 W. 21 St, and focuses on Italian artists Afro, Alberto Burri, and Lucio Fontana. Showing five paintings by each artist, Haunch’s international director Emilio Steinberger explained that the gallery sought to create a balanced show that would make evident the original dialogue between the three post-WWII Italian abstract artists and their American contemporaries.

Installation view

Afro, Burri, and Fontana spent much time travelling the U.S. and befriending American iconoclasts such as de Kooning, Twombly and Rauschenberg, all sharing and influencing one another. Afro used his relationships and affection for artists such as de Kooning and Gorky to redefine the classic Italian abstraction style in this conversation; Fontana opened a physical “third space” through slashing and puncturing his canvases with minimal “buchi,” and Burri’s usage of radical materials and non-classical approach to literally “constructing” paintings from elements such as burlap and wood was influential to Rauschenberg’s combines. The men were contemporaries, friends and in a constant conversation, often times in close physical proximity and sharing studio space (de Kooning worked in Afro’s Rome studio during his years there).

Afro, Tre sotto chiave (1957)

Afro, Ragazzo con il Toro (1954)

Afro, Tavola rotonda (1966)

Afro, La Fabbrica di San Pietro (1960)

Installation view

Alberto Burri, Muffa (1952)

Installation view

Alberto Burri, Nero con punti rossi (1957)

Alberto Burri, Rosso Plastica (1962)

Lucio Fontana, Concetto spaziale (1956)

Lucio Fontana, Concetto spaziale, Teatrino (1965)

—D. Cloninger

Image credits:
For Lucio Fontana: © Fondazione Lucio Fontana, Milano
For Alberto Burri: © Fondazione Palazzo Albizzini- Collezione Burri, Città di Castello (by SIAE 2012)
For Afro: Courtesy Afro Archives Foundation, Rome and Haunch of Venison, New York

Related Links:

Exhibition Site [Haunch of Venison]
Gallery Twitter [@HaunchofVenison]

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