Agostino Bonalumi: paintings or sculptures?
Agostino Bonalumi has been one of the main protagonists of the Milanese artistic scene during the sixties. His research is deeply connected to minimalism and the exploration of the space by the creation of new dimensions for art, following the example of his mentor Lucio Fontana.
He was born in Vimercate in 1935. After completing technical and mechanical studies he started to attend Enrico Baj studio, where he met Lucio Fontana, Piero Manzoni and Enrico Castellani. In 1956 he had his first solo show at Galleria Totti in Milan.
Then, joining Castellani and Manzoni, he hold some exibition at Galleria Pater, Milan, and many other shows in Rome and Losanna.
Castellani, Bonalumi, Fontana
The common experience bring them collaborating to the foundation of Azimuth magazine, which represented a new artistic beginning: it claimed a concept of untraditional art, intended as a path that has an end in itself and consequently developed far from the traditional academic studies. From this moment his exhibitions were organized at the Azimut Gallery.
Bonalumi started to develop the idea of “pittura-oggetto” (painting-object), that consisted of monochrome canvas, everted with different techniques which created a vibrating effect on the surface, under the changing light.
He had strong links with the international Zero Movement, both in Netherlands and Germany, documented by important shows such as “Zero” in London, 1964, and “ZERO Avantgarde” in Milan.
Agostino Bonalumi - "Bianco", 1965
From 1966 he started to take part in the Venice Biennale where, in 1970, he had his personal room; then, his artistic career continued in Mediterranean Africa and USA.
In 1967, at the Biennnal of young Artists in Paris he develop the concept of “pittura ambiente” (environmental painting) by creating a a kind of painting and environmental sculpture as he did in “Blu Abitabile” (1967), and later in “Il Grande Nero” (1968) and “Dal giallo al bianco e dal bianco al giallo”.
Agostino Bonalumi - "Blu abitabile", 1967
Sixties and Seventies represent an important phase of his research: the artist created everted surfaces making shades going backward to light source. The intention of Bonalumi is a disorientation of the public, resulting in a rupture with the traditional standards.
Agostino Bonalumi - "Blu", 1981
In 1980 an important personal show in Palazzo Te, Mantua, illustrated his entire artistic career; it would be followed by other important personal exhibitions all over the world.
Bonalumi had always worked intensely and developed his studies until his last years.
Agostino Bonalumi's works avaliable for sale here.