This highly unusual venture was the result of an encounter between Mimmo Paladino and Sol LeWitt in Rome in 2002. Both artists each began twelve works in gouache. These half-completed paintings were then exchanged and finished by the other artist.

One of the foremost contemporary Italian artists, Paladino’s works can be found in the most important museums and galleries around the world. Like many Italian painters and sculptors before him, such as Giorgio de Chirico, Marino Marini, Mario Sironi and Carlo Carrà, Paladino engages in an intimate dialogue with Italy’s great artistic heritage without falling into anachronism.

Sol LeWitt was an incredibly influential graphic artist and sculptor, whose work first came to prominence during the 1960s when he was a leading exponent of Minimalism. LeWitt was also a pioneer of conceptual art, stating that “the idea […] is the most important aspect” of his work.

The project had the feel of a self-imposed challenge, as in many ways the work of Paladino and LeWitt is diametrically opposed. Yet the American artist’s trademark vocabulary of stark white geometric forms was tempered by the use of rich reds and blues and sinuous, flowing lines, whereas Paladino’s lyrical imagery frequently took on a brittle angularity. In this way, two radically different working processes come together here in a remarkably harmonious manner.

The exhibition was organised in conjunction with the Italian Cultural Institute, and was curated by Valentina Bonomo Arte Contemporanea, Rome. An accompanying catalogue by Bruno Cora was published by Gli Ori.

Marcello Mastroianni and Jeanne Moreau on the set of La Notte by Michelangelo Antonioni, 1960 © Sergio Strizzi Photography

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Pasquarosa, Vase of Flowers, c. 1916

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