Vimercate 1935–2013 Desio
Shaped canvas and vinyl tempera
170 x 130 cm / 66.8 x 51.1 in
Bologna, private collection.
L. M. Barbero, Bonalumi. Evoluzione continua tra pittura e ambiente, Galleria Niccoli, edizione Galleria Niccoli, Parma, 2000.
Agostino Bonalumi Premio Presidente della Repubblica 2001, Accademia Nazionale di San Luca, Rome, De Luca Editore d'Arte, 2002.
Agostino Bonalumi, Institut Mathildenhohe, Darmstadt, coedizione galleria Niccoli, galleria Fumagalli, 2003.
F. Pola, Bonalumi: All the shapes of space 1956 – 1976, Robilant + Voena, Skira, Milan, 2013, ill., pp. 116, 204 (fig. 108);
F. Pola, Italian Neo-Renaissance, Bonalumi, Scheggi, Robilant+Voena 2015, illus. pp. 37, 58 (fig.6).
Robilant+Voena ,Agostino Bonalumi: All the Shapes of Space, 1958 – 1976, London, October – November 2013;
Robilant+Voena, Italian Neo-Renaissance, Bonalumi, Scheggi, New York, 5-28 May 2015.
In 2000 Agostino Bonalumi was chosen to join the Accademia di San Luca, the most prestigious and venerable association of artists in Italy which dates back to the 15th century and subsequently was awarded the Premio Presidente della Repubblica. On this occasion the award was curiously for the category of sculpture rather than that of painting, but this proved to be meaningful since the artist himself has always stressed the sculptural side of his works.
The following spring the Accademia di San Luca held a large exhibition dedicated to him, featuring a selection of work ranging from the beginning of his artistic career in the late 50’s up to his most recent paintings. Amongst the work selected for this exhibition was featured Nero 1967, probably one of his most ambitious works and highly representative of his most important period.
The years between 1966 and 1970 were particularly fruitful, with numerous group and solo exhibitions throughout Europe; 1966 was a crucial year for Bonalumi, as he was invited to take part in the 33rd Venice Biennale, where he exhibited a selection of his works in the same room as Paolo Scheggi. The following year he had his first solo exhibition in New York in 1967 at Galleria Bonino and in 1970 he had a room devoted to his work at the 35th Venice Biennale in which he exhibited a large sculptural installation. During this period, Bonalumi’s experimentation with materials expanded beyond vinyl tempera on canvas to also encompass fiberglass, ciré and enamel – highlighting his constant and deep research into the materiality and potentialities of painting. This was complemented by his nascent interest in environmental works, which was brought to fruition with his Blu Abitabile (Inhabitable Blue) of 1967 exhibited in Foligno, and his Grande Nero (Big Black) of 1968 shown at the Museum am Ostwall in Dortmund.
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