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'Anti-form' by Rodolfo Arico at Barbara Behan

LONDON, UK.- Barbara Behan is pleased to present 'Anti-form', an exhibition by Italian artist Rodolfo Aricò. Rodolfo Aricò is one of the leaders of the artistic movement known as essential, or analytical, painting. ‘Anti-form’ is Aricò's first exhibition in the UK, showcasing large and small works that span his career from the late 1950s to the eve of his death in 2002.

Aricò used monochrome colour and the entire space available to him to produce pictorial objects that fill the room, creating infinite perspectives. This exhibition illustrates the early influence of the 'Informal' art movement prevalent in Milan the 1950s and early 1960s; the subsequent influence of Pop Art; and the transition to the form of Minimalism pioneered by Aricò, in tandem with American artists like Frank Stella, Donald Judd and others.

In the 1970s, Aricò achieved the formal composition required to realise his first truly 'painterly objects' and to produce sculpture-like elements, which he presented in atmospheric installations. From this point onward, he concentrated more and more intensely on the fundamental principles of the sculptural, on the values of colour, on the material quality of painting, on textures, structures and on the sublime treatment of layers and surfaces. One of Aricò's most striking traits is his ability to evoke a sense of depth in his two-dimensional surfaces, yet he succeeds in escaping Constructivism. In other words, he moves from the surface into the surrounding space, and the pictorial medium becomes a freely navigating object, an entity that despite being a surface attains a spiritual level and floats as if in its own cosmos. In his work, Aricò always investigates the boundary between object and picture, the borderline, the point where an object becomes a picture. He establishes a mysterious connection between space, lines, surfaces and colour and in so doing endeavours to create a symbol that embraces both picture and object.

Rodolfo Aricò (Milan 1930 - 2002) studied at the Brera Academy of Fine Art, Milan and the architecture faculty at Milan's Politecnico. Major exhibitions include the Venice Biennale in 1964, 1968, 1986 and 1994; 'Anthology' at Palazzo Grassi, Venice, 1974; 'Rodolfo Aricò. Myth and Architecture' curated by Gianni Contessi, Casa del Mantegna, Mantua, 1980; Palazzo dell'Arte, Milan Triennale, 1982; 'Rodolfo Aricò', Padilgione d'Arte Contemporanea, Milan, 1984; '1960/1985: Aspects of Italian Art', kunstverein in Frankfurt, Berlin, Hannover, Bregenz and Vienna; Palazzo della Permanente, Milan, 1990; Palazzo Ducale, Urbino, 1995; Quadriennale, Rome, 1997; Biennale Centenary, XLVI International Art Show, Ca' Pesaro, Venice; 'Aspects of post-war Italian art to today' (with Fontana, Manzoni, Castellani and Staccioli), Stockholm 2000, Bergisch Gladbach, 2001 and Cologne, 2001 and Kaiserliche Hofburg, Innsbruck, 2003.

A major retrospective of Rodolfo Aricò will take place at Institut Mathildenhöhe, Darmstadt on 15 May 2005 accompanied by a catalogue by Klaus Wolbert. The catalogue illustrates the fascinating breadth of all phases and design-related aspects of Rodolfo Aricò's oeuvre and is available at the 'Anti-form' exhibition in London. Further solo exhibitions this year include Galerie König, Frankfurt, Art Frankfurt and Annunciata Grossetti Arte Contemporanea, Milan, who presented Aricò's first solo exhibition back in 1959.

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