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Press Release

MATRIX: Nuova Astrazione in ITALIA

curated by Marzia Taggiasco

Opening Saturday September 20th, 6 - 9 pm

September 20 -  October 8, 2008

Torre  Ennagonale
18010 Santo Stefano al Mare (IM), ITALIA
Tel. +39 3409537120

Marzia Frozen is pleased to announce a group exhibition of new generation of painters working today in Italy. This will be a group exhibition at Ennagonal Tower in Santo Stefano al Mare, and will feature a selection of abstract paintings.

Abstract painting is back. True, it never really went away, but it had been shunted aside by the vagaries of time and fashion. Abstraction was attacked for being old media, played out, new-idea stunted, and out of sync with contemporary life and thought—as well as for being decorative and solipsistic. While abstraction persisted in Europe and even Asia, it became a sidebar to the New York art scene, which was flooded, paradoxically, with a technologically sophisticated assortment of new-media works, along with an array of updated conventional representational paintings.

Abstract painting is art that does not depict objects in the natural world, but instead uses colour and form in a non-representational way. In the very early 20th century, the term was more often used to describe art, such as Cubist and Futurist art, that depicts real forms in a simplified or rather reduced way—keeping only an allusion to the original natural subject. Such paintings were often claimed to capture something of the depicted objects' immutable intrinsic qualities rather than its external appearance. The more precise terms, "non-figurative art," "non-objective art," and "non-representational art" avoid any possible ambiguity.

The term Abstract Art was coined in the 20th century (ca. 1911) to describe a cultural phenomenon that occurred simultaneously throughout western culture. For this reason, it isn't clear who the first Modernist abstract painter was: it could have been Robert Delaunay in Paris; or the American Arthur Dove; the Czech František Kupka; the Russians Wassily Kandinsky or Kasimir Malevich; the Dutch painter Piet Mondrian; Balla in Italy or many others. Rather than an invention of an individual, abstraction in Modernist painting appeared as a cultural phenomenon.

Non-objective art is not an invention of the 20th century — that humans have made non-objective art since they first drew pictures in the dirt. In the Islamic religion the depiction of humans is not allowed, and consequently the Islamic culture developed a high standard of decorative arts. Calligraphy is also a form of non-figurative art.

Constructivism (1915) and De Stijl (1917) were parallel movements which took abstraction into the three dimensions of sculpture and architecture. The Constructivists believed that the artist's work was a revolutionary activity, to express the aspirations of the people, using machine production, graphic and photographic means of communication. Some of the American Abstract expressionists are purely abstract and include: Barnett Newman, Mark Rothko,Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, Franz Kline, and Hans Hofmann. Op Art(1962) and Minimalism (1965) were two recent idioms.

In 1953, The City of Bordighera invited Peggy Guggenheim to exhibite her Non- Objective Painting collection; by Giuseppe Balbo's initiative and  organized by Jean Cocteau . The artists were Jackson Pollock, Cifford Still, Arshile Gorky, Marc Rothko, Sebastian Matta, Robert Motherwell and others. The exhibition was held at Palazzo del Parco.

The question "What is abstraction?" and begins to answer it: "I think abstraction is a mental process where the artist extracts form and creates form. For instance, I looked out my window and saw a window across the street. One frame was slightly off-kilter, and I began to think of an off-kilter grid—and from there, about minor gestures, how the tiny shift in the big grid changed everything. You could take anything as the starting point—abstraction lets you do that. Then it becomes its own world, and it's like being inside the work."