Vasco Bendini's art goes on stage in Venice

Maurizio Amore, La Repubblica, July 1, 2022

A Venezia va in scena l'arte di Vasco Bendini

Palazzo Franchetti dedicates a solo exhibition to the bolognese master of abstract expressionism and initiator of arte povera.

50 years after his last appearance in Venice on the occasion of the 1972 Biennale, Galleria d'Arte Maggiore in collaboration with Art capital partners - Palazzo Franchetti (ACP) brings Vasco Bendini's art back to the lagoon with the exhibition "Gesture and matter". Until next 30 September, the city pays tribute to the Bolognese artist in the year of the centenary of his birth, retracing his activity through a selection of important works created between 1958 and 1970. Tireless in carrying out an expressive eclectic research by any means, Vasco Bendini is one of the greatest figures of Italian contemporary art of the twentieth century.

A pupil of Giorgio Morandi and Virgilio Guidi at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna, the artist took his first steps towards metaphysical painting but the figurative element disintegrated in an abstract sense as early as 1948. During his long career the painter followed the suggestions of the theories of modern quantum physics according to which our perception of reality in the form of matter is nothing more than an illusory trace of mobile compounds, made of waves and particles. Starting from 1950, the colors became fluid and the painting expanded into a nebula, guiding the viewer towards the presence of increasingly dematerialized faces and bodies until it resulted, between 1958 and 1959, in the canons of the informal Italian.

Also referred to as abstract expressionism, the informal enhances the creative act as an action, enhancing the intrinsic expressive possibilities in the materials used. Thus, at the beginning of the 1960s, the constant study of new supports to create the compositions pushed Bendini towards the codes of poor art. The artist adds "poor" materials to his canvases such as containers for eggs, flaps of twisted and wrinkled fabrics, cartons randomly recovered from the garbage. The Bolognese painter is therefore the protagonist of a path that often sees him as a great precursor of avant-garde art thanks to the deep knowledge of the most varied techniques. This is the case of "My table with self-portrait", a clear example of that current of informal art called "gestural painting" based on the speed and immediacy of execution. The painter now conceives the painting as a translation into images of the will to tell himself. "Gesture and material" follows the evolution of an artistic investigation that will last until 2015, the year of the end of an extraordinary career dedicated to probing in depth the elusive entity of one's own essence.