Giuseppe Capogrossi (Italian, 1900-1972)
Lot 111
Giuseppe Capogrossi (Italian, 1900-1972)
Sold for £84,000 (US$ 132,486) inc. premium

Lot Details
Giuseppe Capogrossi (Italian, 1900-1972)
(n/a) Giuseppe Capogrossi (Italian, 1900-1972)
Abstract Composition, circa 1940.
oil on canvas, unframed
72 x 58cm (28 3/8 x 22 13/16in).

Footnotes

  • Giuseppe Capogrossi was born and died in Rome. He started his artistic career in the 1920's and attended the studio of Felice Carena. In time he went on to form the Gruppo Romano which comprised Carrado Cagli, Emanuel Cavalli, Matai and Luigi Pirandello. During the war years his style changed considerably and by the 1950's it had become heavily abstract. The current 'superficie' work dates from this post war period.

    At this time after a period of wartime inactivity he went on to found the group Origine with Mario Balloco, Ettore Colla and Alberto Burri. The group were critical of 'decorative' abstract art. They opposed a ' troubled ' consciousness and embraced the utopia of the new front of neo cubists. They stood for a return to formalist abstraction and wanted to become a reference point for ' non- figurative 'expressive needs. Also they wanted to reduce colour to its simplist form and evoke pure and elemental images and needed to express the necessity of 'a rigorous, coherent, energetic vision which was primarily anti decorative.'The primitive symbols used in this work and the forceful colours were two of the key manifestos of the group.

    Giuseppe Ungarotti stated; ' How did Capogrossi come up with these cabalistic signs? These signs don't ever change. They are like locks of perpetual closure, locks that can penetrate the universe. '

    In 1948 at the XXIV Biennale di Venezia Capogrossi showed 'Le due chitarre' (now in Rome,at the Collezione Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna), this was an example of his new Neocubist phase. In 1950 in Rome in the face of great scandal from the critics he exhibited his new abstract works at the Galleria del Secolo. In 1964 Capogrossi declared himself to be a more advanced phase than purely figurative work in which natural forms were no longer imitated but assimilated. In the post war years he established himself as one of the leading figures of abstraction.

    Capogrossi said of his later abstract work of which 'superficie' is a prime example; ' My goal is to help man to see what he cannot perceive with his eyes.'

Saleroom notices

  • Please note that this work is entitled 'Superficie 400' and is a work from 1961. It is published in the general catalogue of Capogrossi as number 44 (pg. 188).
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