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Achille Perilli

10 works: 1953 - 1965

curated by                                        


28 October - 11 December 2011




As part of the Close up series, in the lounge area of the gallery, focus is placed on the artwork of young artists or important sets of works by historic artists. On this occasion, the spotlight is on ten works by Achille Perilli.

These ten previously unseen pieces, dating from 1953 to 1966, illustrate an extremely dynamic period in the long career of the artist born in Rome in 1927. In 1947 he was one of the founders of the Forma 1 group, together with other young Roman artists: Carla Accardi, Pietro Consagra, Pietro Dorazio, Antonio Sanfilippo and Giulio Turcato. The experience lasted for four years and had a strong politico-cultural rather than strictly artistic slant.

The collection starts with a small piece from 1953 which shows the great pictorial tradition inspiring Perilli’s work: it is almost a direct quote from Klee. In the two following works, from 1957 and 1959, the artist takes a step towards art informel, marking the surface of the painting with a sure hand, closely mirroring the at-this-point widespread Tachism current from France. But in the splendid tempera on black paper from 1960, Perilli comes up with an extremely personal language. The vibrant and uneasy marks develop in an almost uninterrupted line into a horizontal sequence of elements, giving a glimpse of hints of figures. The nervous etchings on the velvety black background of the tempera would then be given more space in the “etched” canvases of his “mural pictures” (by using sand as the base for the painting), in which one can also make out a segmented pattern.
These signs, which appear to tell a story, like in La firma dell’angelo (The Angel’s Signature, 1962) or Un po’ di noia (A Touch of Boredom, 1964), are then arranged in his paper works and in Il culto della dissipazione (Dissipation Cult, 1965) in a series of images within structured outlined spaces, often in a horizontal pattern of overlapping stripes. They are almost predellas and ancillary structures to the central element of the picture (in my opinion closer to the great Gothic polyptychs than to a comic strip), where the structural invention gives free rein to the sign to express itself. Blending with a rich and bright colour, the sign builds and breaks up the images utterly at will. This is where any iconographical reading comes aground, to leave room for the big, free game of painting.

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