8 Jun 2016

From abstract expressionism to post-pictorial abstraction: American works from the Guggenheim collection

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Where and when







Museo Novecento

Free admission subject to availability

Wednesday, June 8 at 5.30pm  


Conference by Claudio Zambianchi. In collaboration with Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi.

During the Second World War in New York, at that time enriched by the presence of European intellectuals fleeing from a Europe burned by fighting and violence, a movement destined to have great importance on the future destiny of Western art is being formed: Abstract Expressionism. Artists such as Jackson Pollock, Clyfford Still, Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko, Adolph Gottlieb, Barnett Newman gave life, in the immediate post-war years, to a new and original language, increasingly abstract, increasingly based on the impact of the large size of the painting on the observer. It is an important point of arrival of the modernist conception of art, to which some painters of the next generation, belonging to the so-called “post-pictorial abstraction”, inspired by Mark Rothko and Helen Frankenthaler, give a following of considerable interest. Among them, Morris Louis and Kenneth Noland. Starting from an analysis of the works conserved in the collections of Solomon and Peggy Guggenheim, who between 1943 and 1947 was the greatest gallerist of Abstract Expressionism, it is possible to have a general overview of these important currents of American art. 

Claudio Zambianchi 

was born in Rome in 1958. He has a degree in Literature at the “Sapienza” of Rome, a Master’s of Arts at the Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and a PhD. He has written on aspects of art and art criticism of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries for magazines, books and catalogues. In 2000 he published a book on Water Lilies by Claude Monet, an artist to whom he dedicated a general text in 2007. In 2008 he edited, in collaboration with Giuseppe Di Giacomo, an anthology of essays on art criticism of the twentieth century. In 2011 he published a book entitled Contemporary Art: From Abstract Expressionism to Pop Art and in 2012 he translated, edited and introduced the text The Art, by Clive Bell. He taught at the Academies of Fine Arts in Turin and Milan. Since 1998 he has been Associate Professor of History of Contemporary Art at the “Sapienza” in Rome.

Monday, June 20 at 5.00pm


Itinerant visit to the collections of the Museo Novecento and the exhibition Da Kandinsky a Pollock. La grande arte dei Guggenheim. In collaboration with Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi.

Reservation required, maximum 25 people. Info and costs: prenotazioni@palazzostrozzi.org  tel. 055 2469600. 

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