Scheggi’s works are as exuberant in color and simple in form as they are complex in the level of design and concept that exists behind them. Surrounded by his painter mother and his sculptor grandfather, he began his artistic career directly in his family home, where he created his first experimental works characterized by the superimposition of various materials. The artist’s canvas is used as a sculptural surface to be modeled and soon also becomes his distinctive characteristic, so much so that in 1965 art critic Gillo Dorfles coined the term “object painting”, of which he became one of its leading exponents. Cardi Gallery in Milan is opening a new exhibition dedicated to the great artist Paolo Scheggi, tracing, through a selection of more than 25 works, the artist’s research from the early 1960s to the early 1970s. For the occasion, the historic immersed environment Interflore, created with 85 fluorescent rings made of wood and Wood‘s light suspended in darkness, first presented at La Tartaruga Gallery in 1968, will also be reconstructed in its original version.
In Making Spaces, the name of the exhibition, the environments dialogue with Paolo Scheggi’s Intersuperfici, works made of die-cut colored cardboard modules and plexiglas in bright colors, overlapping and furrowed by elliptical openings. The exhibition offers to the public two different keys to interpretation: on the one hand, it investigates the integrated design to architecture that the artist conducts by elaborating the spatial modules at the basis of his best-known works; on the other hand, it offers visitors a broad overview of Scheggi’s approach to the concepts of interaction, interspace and multimedia. Fontana, a close friend of the artist, always expressed his esteem for him and loved the way his paintings were so profoundly black, white or red. Curator Ilaria Bignotti insists on focusing on Scheggi’s career, already confirmed at his first participation in an exhibition in Brussels at Galerie Smith, where for the first time his Intersuperfici faces international market. Today the great Florentine artist fits into the heart of Milan, where he himself has managed to find a balance between the neurotic and cosmopolitan city and the rigor of his work, experimenting with new languages and crossing all boundaries. During his career, he forged several collaborations with renowned critics, designers and producers such as Germano Celant, Angelo Fronzoni and Gian Mario Olivieri, and today Cardi Gallery also turns a glance at the importance of his relationships, culminating in the realization of the project with Fabbrica Poggi, which sees the production of plastic-visual objects also related to furniture. The research for the artist’s works extends and branches out in multiple directions, from poetry to theater, from urban action to conceptual speculation, and even embraces fashion and design. From the very beginning, he goes beyond the concept of the surface of the monochrome canvas, giving it perfect elliptical or circular organic openings: his investigation widens more and more, finding endless possibilities for reading his works, which start from being metaphors for a profound existential reflection that embraces the space and time in which we live.
“Fontana had put into writing his appreciation of those paintings so profoundly black, white, and red, in a letter laden with portents with respect to the intense and dazzling career that Scheggi himself would pursue”
As their form suggests, those of Paolo Scheggi are works that invite one to go beyond the superficial by digging in depth, transforming the viewer into an active and integral part. Cardi Gallery in Milan through the proposed itinerary analyzes the artist and offers the public the chance to understand his character by observing different works made at different times of his life. The works’ intense colors and circular openings create continuous plays of light and a continuous contrast between surface and depth. The reader is driven by curiosity and feels as if reread in the painting, analyzing, in addition to the work he is observing, his person, trying to understand what he can find by digging deep within himself. Seemingly simple forms conceal a complex technique, but above all, the effect it generates in the audience is surprising.
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