Abstract painter Giorgio Griffa, closely linked to the Arte Povera movement, first became known in the 1960s as part of an Italian generation of artists who sought to radically redefine painting.
Believing in the ‘intelligence of painting’, Griffa allows the essential elements of his process, such as the type or width of the brush, the colour or dilution of the paint and the nature of the canvas, whether linen, cotton, hemp or jute, to influence and form the work. Griffa’s approach is performative and time-based – often working horizontally on the floor, his rhythmic, formal gestures soak into the unprimed and unstretched material. Griffa’s minimal and primordial marks extend from his fascination with quantum energy, time-space mathematics, the golden ratio and the memory of visual experience since time immemorial. Suggesting the ongoing and organic life of the painting, lines and brushstrokes are deliberately cut short and the canvas is never filled; never a finished or complete object, but a process viewed in the moment.
At the age of 81, Griffa continues to make work in his studio in Turin. This exhibition spans the breadth of the artist’s practice, incorporating works from the 1960s through to today.
Giorgio Griffa (b. 1936) lives and works in Turin, Italy. Recent solo exhibitions include: Giorgio Griffa: The 1970s, Casey Kaplan, New York, USA (2016); Works on Paper, Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, Italy (2016); Giorgio Griffa, Fondation Vincent Van Gogh Arles, Arles, France (2016); Quasi Tutto, Serralves Museum, Porto, Portugal (2015); Painting into the Fold, Bergen Kunsthall, Bergen, Norway (2015); and A Retrospective 1968 – 2014, Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève, Geneva, Switzerland (2015). Griffa also recently exhibited at the Venice Biennale 57th International Art Exhibition, Viva Arte Viva; his third time at the Biennale following presentations in 1978 and 1980.
Listen to a playlist created by Giorgio Griffa for the exhibition: