Luigi Pericle (1916-2001), was a fascinating and singular artist whose work was greatly admired by Herbert Read and Ben Nicholson. An important exponent of Art Informel and post-war abstraction – as well as an illustrator, internationally renowned for inventing the character of Max the Marmot – his intense, enigmatic and multi-layered imagery was the subject of numerous exhibitions in Britain during the 1960s. Pericle then abruptly retreated from the art system, and for the rest of his life continued to paint, write and to study esoteric philosophy in the secluded house he shared with his wife Orsolina on Monte Verità in the Ticino region of Switzerland. The artist’s work was dramatically rediscovered in 2016 when his former residence was purchased.
The process of restoring, cataloguing and researching his vast oeuvre is ongoing, and is overseen by Ascona’s Archivio Luigi Pericle, with which the exhibition has been organised.