Lot 3483 - A189 PostWar & Contemporary - Saturday, 29. June 2019, 02.00 PM

PIERO DORAZIO

(Rome 1927 - 2005 Perugia)
Mimet. 1962.
Oil on canvas.
Signed, dated and titled on the reverse: PIERO DORAZIO 1962 "MIMET".
46 x 33 cm.

This work is registered in the Archivio Piero Dorazio, Milan, with a photo certificate dating 19 February 2019. We thank the Archivio Piero Dorazio for their kind support.

Provenance:
- Purchased around 1962 when the work was executed, since then private collection Switzerlnd.
- By descent to the present owner, also private collection Switzerland.

Piero Dorazio was born in Rome in 1927. His interest in art was awoken during his grammar school years, when he accompanied his classmate to the studio of his father, the painter Aldo Bandinelli. He started with architecture studies at La Sapienza, which he abandoned quite quickly in order to form the groups “Ariete” and “Arte Sociale with other young artists. In 1947 along with Carla Accardi, Giulio Turcato and others, he formed the group “Forma 1”. Time and again Dorazio sought to join forces with other artists in order to develop his ideas and put them into practice. His life as citizen of the world took off when he received a scholarship from the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, where he studied from 1947until 1949. He was in touch with Jean Arp, Alberto Magnelli, Fernand Léger and Georges Braque.

Inspiring times were to come: in 1948 he exhibited for the first time in Paris and Rome, and together with Ettore Sottsass he was part of the two-man exhibition “Arte Astrata” in Rome. In 1950 he opened a book shop with gallery in Rome called “L’Age d’Or”, where he offered avant-garde books as well as organising abstract art exhibitions, which brought him further success. In 1951 with Alberto Burri and Ettore Colla he founded “Fondazione Origine”, before receiving an invitation in 1953 from Harvard University to hold a seminar there. He keenly accepted this invitation since he was always striving to gather new ideas. He moved to New York where he made the acquaintance of contemporary American artists, as well as the leading personalities of Abstract Expressionism such as Barnett Newmann, Robert Motherwell and Mark Rothko. In 1963 he received a teaching assignment at the University of Pennsylvania, where over the next 10 years he restructured the faculty of fine arts and taught there. In 1968 he was made professor. Piero Dorazio wrote countless texts on art theory and art criticism and examined the modern masters at great length, but finally found his own way towards Concrete Art. During his time at the University, the artist kept a studio in New York, where he produced his first compositions of strips of colour, which were to characterise his work from then onwards.

His previous efforts to consolidate his style suddenly came to a head at a particular point in time. His style can be defined as a structured rhythm, which does not seek a perfect geometrical construction, but pursues the phenomena of light and colour in energy-laden overlapping lines. He combines both spontaneity and controlled painting, whereby a wonderful modulated rhythm prevails in his works.

The two works offered here at auction from the 1960s (Lot 3404 and 3483), which are completly different in their composition, are good illustrations of this geometrically ordered artistic freedom: the overlapping and interaction of the intersecting coloured lines produce a relief-like structure. This structure either seeks in vain to cover the light of the background, or the glow of the background colour manages to work its way through the mesh of lines. The essentially geometric grid pattern is combined into a lively, vibrating and rhythmic whole, which he himself summed up in the following sentence: “The art of painting is not aimed at the more or less ingenious fabrication of images, but at the search for those key elements of visual perception that create a way of seeing and understanding those images.” (Piero Dorazio, Cui prodest, 1967).

Piero Dorazio took part in documenta in Kassel for two years in a row and received the Prix Kandinsky in 1961. In 1974 he made his home in an abandoned former monastery in Umbria, where he lived and worked until his death in 2005. There he found the peace and the space to put his artistic ideas into practice. He regularly travelled to the island of Rhodes in order to gather inspiration and record particular qualities of light, which served as an important stimulus for many of his paintings.

As the Basel-based philosopher and art historian Gottfried Boehm noted, the aim of the pictorial structure is “that we are confronted with such an overabundance of optical signals, that the eye can no longer confirm particular details ….but perceives the energy which is activated by the many contrasts. One can also therefore say that Piero Dorazio’s pictures are pure energy. They give the viewer their strength.” (from: www.galeriewilmsen.com, Biografie Piero Dorazio).

CHF 30 000 / 40 000

€ 26 320 / 35 090

Sold for CHF 88 140 (including buyer’s premium)
All information is subject to change.