Black & White: gesture and geometry in post-war abstraction

9 May - 21 June 2019

M&L Fine Art is pleased to present a group exhibition of monochrome works by nine Italian and international post-war artists. Encompassing a range of mediums and techniques ranging from the 1950s to the 2000s, the works on display conjure visual associations between diverse practitioners working in abstraction in the past six decades.


Since gaining critical prominence as one of the most significant artistic rubrics of the twentieth century, abstraction and its manifold expressions have been represented in countless exhibitions in western and non-western contexts alike. With this intimate presentation, we have chosen to acknowledge two strands of abstraction that feature prominently in the work of some the gallery’s signature artists: gesture and geometry.


In one of its manifestations, abstraction takes a highly expressive form, marking the physical relationship of the artist to his or her chosen support. This is visible in paintings and sculptures that highlight the bold and dynamic movements of the artist’s hand, through brushwork, drawing or modelling. From Abstract Expressionism and Art Informel to current practices, the lingua franca of action painting has constantly renewed itself while preserving this fundamental character.


No less dramatic or sensual, but possessing a distinctly linear formal syntax, geometric abstraction equally constitutes an influential sensibility in post-war art. Inheriting the forms of early twentieth-century avant-gardes and developing them to increasingly subtle intellectual effects, artists thinking through post-war geometric abstraction have been variously associated with movements like Minimalism and Conceptual Art in the United States, and Spatialism in Italy, among many others.


Beginning with Emilio Vedova’s Immagine del tempo (1957), this exhibition explores the tension between gesture and geometry in paintings and works on paper by Bice Lazzari, Dadamaino, Carla Accardi, Heinz Mack, Jannis Kounellis, Richard Serra, Alighiero Boetti, and Gianni Asdrubali.