In the autumn of 1976, a group of painters from Italy’s northern Trentino region published their ‘Manifesto of Objective Abstraction’. Reacting against what they considered to be the superficiality of contemporary culture, Mauro Cappelletti, Diego Mazzonelli, Gianni Pellegrini, Aldo Schmid, Luigi Senesi and Giuseppe Wenter Marini called for a renewed attention to the painterly process and its fundamentally abstract concerns.

Although each artist possessed a unique and independent artistic vision, what united them was their desire to make colour the focal point of their artistic practice, exploring its optical and perceptual effects. As the group’s name suggests, instinct was set aside in favour of discipline and control, resulting in the creation of an impersonal, intellectual art that minimised the importance of an emotional response on the part of either the artist or the viewer.

This exhibition explored a little-known moment in Italian painting, but one that nevertheless represents an important phase in the evolution of abstract art in post-war Italy. It was also the first show in Britain to focus on the group, and presented a number of important pieces by each of its members.

The exhibition catalogue is available in our shop. Buy now

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