Le monochrome sous tension — The Monochrome Under Pressure


Painting, sculpture, mixed media

Le monochrome sous tension
The Monochrome Under Pressure

Past: January 4 → March 5, 2011

Starting in the 1960s under the guidance of Lucio Fontana in Milan, Enrico Castellani and Piero Manzoni implemented a decisive turning point in the life of the monochrome. For these artists, as it is for those showing in this exhibition, it is a question of shattering the authority of the illusionist screen of painting — even if it be monochromatic — by bringing it back into real space, by embodying it and by misusing its flatness, or in other words, by drawing it into the ambiguity of three dimensional space.

If the restriction of a single color palette or the refusal of one altogether is present on the surface, the artwork plays on depth generated by recesses, bulges and other regular disturbances of its epidermis. The results are far from insignificant; their simplicity of form is paradoxically the platform for a universe with infinite tone and spatial variations. In the 1960s, numerous were those that hoped for the end of painting and these mutations replaced traditional compositional techniques of outlines or contrast between chromatic values. For other artists also associated with this group and, in a broader sense with optical art in general, this engagement takes on a meaning that is increasingly constructivist. Therefore, virtual visual atmospheres, as monochromatic as they are fragile, were born little by little out of the superposition of perforated and translucent screens (Dadamaino), superimposed, bold grids (Piero Dorazio and François Morellet), the slow pulsation of polystyrene elements (Gianni Colombo) and even the movable networks that redistribute light (Luis Tomasello and Jan Schoonhoven). These logic structures, which began for the most part over a half a century ago, have enjoyed a remarkable echo in very recent art in such diverse forms as appropriation, misappropriation, or deconstruction (Maurizio Cattelan and Steven Parrino), invasion of space by the flat plane (Morgane Tschiember) or even by the production of truly abyssal monochromes (Laurent Grasso and Anish Kapoor).

The extraordinary revival and the dialogue established between the artist’s key works allow for observation in vivo of the perceptual nature, the historical importance, but also the timeliness of this abstraction, so profoundly impure due to the strong influence to its context, both physical and cultural.

Exhibition curator : Matthieu Poirier.

Tornabuoni Art Gallery
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75002 Paris

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Franklin D.Roosevelt

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Every day except Sunday, 10:30 AM – 6:30 PM

The artists

And 4 others…

From the same artists