Spazialismo. Riccardo Licata and Venetian Painting
at the end of the 20th Century
The State Hermitage presents the exhibition of one of the trends of Italian art of the second half of the 20th century - spazialismo.
Italian trend spazialismo (from Italian Spazio - space) is a tendency
in art that considers painting and sculpture as one type of art that unites
colour, sound, space, movement and time. Its origin is, first of all,
connected to the name of Lucia Fontana
Fontana appealed to art that should embrace contemporary science and technology;
in his works he used such materials as neon light, radio
and television. So in 1949 Fontana showed his Ambiente
Spaziale (Spatial Environment) performed in phosphorescent paint
and illuminated by neon light. That work was the first
example of what later on became known as art of installation.
Later Fontana made works on canvas, to which he gave a common
name Concetto Spaziale (Spatial Conception), at the same
time proceeding to make installations with the use of light.
The basis for Spatial Conception was dissection
of canvas with a razor in order to create actual
Approximately 80 works by painters-spatialists are presented at the exhibition
Open bright colour traditional for the richest culture of the sunny Mediterranean, graphic expressiveness neighbouring with symbolic abstract shapes reminiscent of ancient letters are incarnated in the works of Italian painter Riccardo Licata, which have been exhibited at the Hermitage for the first time.
Motifs of antique and Byzantine art are combined with ornamental pattern
of Northern European countries. Appealing to the heritage of the past
the painter is working by developing aesthetics and stylistics of abstract
expressionism that won over Western artistic stage of Italy during the
Riccardo Licata was born in Turin on December 20, 1929. Soon his family moved to Rome, where they lived until the end of the Second World War, after which they settled down in Venice. In 1947 Licata entered the Lyceum of Arts and started to study Bauhaus culture and took great interest in mosaic. In 1950 he entered the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice.
Licata started exhibiting in 1949 when the open exhibition of a group
In 1957 after being awarded the grant from the French government Licata moved to Paris, where he was engaged in painting, as well as engraving, mosaic, sculpture and set design.
Licata joined the ranks of 25 artists selected by the international
commission of experts for realization of a
Works by Riccardo Licata are kept in museums of contemporary art in Florence, Milan, Venice, Paris, New York, Chicago, and Vienna as well as in private collections. At present the artist is living and working in Paris and in Venice.
The exhibition curator is Alexey Mitin, the research associate of the Department of Western European Art of the State Hermitage.