Bice Lazzari. La poetica del segno

25 ottobre 2019 – 13 febbraio 2020

THE MUSEO NOVECENTO, FLORENCE, PRESENTS A NEW EXHIBITION FEATURING ANOTHER GREAT ARTIST OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY, ON VIEW FROM OCTOBER 25, 2019 THROUGH FEBRUARY 13, 2020, IN THE MUSEUM’S FIRST FLOOR GALLERIES. THE VENETIAN ARTIST, BICE LAZZARI, IS THE FOCUS OF THIS EXHIBITION CURATED BY PAOLA UGOLINI AND SERGIO RISALITI (MADE IN COLLABORATION WITH BICE LAZZARI ARCHIVE), WHICH DISPLAYS A WIDE SELECTION OF MORE THAN SEVENTY SELECTED WORKS INCLUDING PAINTINGS, DRAWINGS, DESIGNED OBJECTS AND A SERIES OF POETRY.

An anthology of works that retrace the main stages of this solitary but central interpreter of Italian art of the 20th century, Bice Lazzari’s artistic practice, from her most figurative works to the Informal, from complete abstraction of forms to a vocabulary of points and lines.

An introverted and isolated figure, Bice Lazzari (1900 – 1981) was born in Venice into a bourgeois family of traders and building contractors as the second of three sisters (Ninni, the youngest, will marry the architect Carlo Scarpa). Her artistic training took place in Venice, first at the Benedetto Marcello Conservatory and later at the Academy of Fine Arts. Her artistic career began similar to those of many young Venetian artists at the beginning of the 1920s and based on an en plein air painting style characterized by landscapes immersed in a lagoon atmosphere cleaved by light —a style revered by the French Impressionists —or characterized by a more solid, almost geometric composition – pioneered twenty years before by Cézanne. Starting in the second half of the 1920s, Bice Lazzari began to also work on the loom, producing various types of applied art, from fabrics to scarves, bags and hand-knotted carpets. In this field, full of innovation and more open to stylistic experimentation than the more academic one of painting, she collaborated with some of the greatest Venetian architects and decorators of the time, interpreting the non-figurative orientations and developments of the modern decorative arts. Until the early 1930s, her research was characterized by a duality between figuration experimented through painting and abstraction, linked to the works of applied arts. In this period, she connects her research to the International avant-gardes of abstraction, such as Kandinsky and Klee, and to work in Italy animated by artists from the Galleria il Milione such as Melotti, Rho and Radice, among others. Between the late-1950s and 1963, she continued her pictorial investigation approaching the Informal, when she abandoned oil paint altogether in favor of glues, sands, tempera and later, acrylics. From the early 1960s, she moved away from the materiality of these experiments to begin to define what for her would become the real “la poetica del segno”. The works of these years are refined interlacements of elementary signs that reflect the inspiration of Mirò or, even more, Klee, and, despite their meager essentiality, represent perhaps the most interesting phase of his pictorial production.

In the last few years, between 1970 and 1971, Lazzari abandoned oil painting and began to work with acrylics. More fluid and brilliant, “the acrylic, an unpleasant but strong, strong, resistant material, I made it my friend after sweaty trials, and knowing it, slowly, I obtained surfaces that could still have a vibration of light to which I could not give up [...]“.

The most successful abstract works of this last decade are those of a research that starts from the half of the mid-1920s. These works of maturity are perfect formal balances in which the rhythmic marks on the canvas capture the viewer’s eye in the perfect relationship between space, time and measure.

The exhibition was made possible thanks to the contribution of Azimut Capital Management, Archea Associati and LMCR / Associate Law Firm.

Curated by Paola Ugolini and Sergio Risaliti

In collaboration with Archivio Bice Lazzari