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"Paolo Scheggi: Selected Works from European Collections" opens at Ronchini Gallery
Paolo Scheggi, Intersuperficie Curva, 1968, (PS0519), acrylic on overlapping canvas, 70.4 x 100.4 x 5.8 cm, Private collection.

LONDON.- Ronchini Gallery and Galleria d’Arte Niccoli present Paolo Scheggi: Selected Works from European Collections, the first solo exhibition of works by Paolo Scheggi in London for over 40 years. Running from 11 December 2013 – 8 February 2014, this monumental exhibition will present key works from Scheggi’s short, but prolific artistic career.

Paolo Scheggi (1940-1971) is most renowned for his monochromatic works of overlapping canvases, which he referred to as Intersuperfici or Zone Riflesse (curved intersurfaces and reflected areas). Scheggi’s volumetric works are most notable for pioneering the idea of ‘painting as object’, as noted by Gillo Dorfles in his essay “Pittura-oggetto a Milano”[1], a concept he codified in 1966 in the exhibition of the same title, which was held at the Galleria Arco D’Alibert, Rome. This exhibition featured work by Scheggi alongside the artists: Lucio Fontana, Agostino Bonalumi and Enrico Castellani; and a catalogue that includes essays by Gillo Dorfles and Germano Celant.

Germano Celant followed and admired Scheggi’s works, and says of this group of artists:

Their attention on elementary entities such as: the line, the point, simple geometric figures, rhythm, and the monochromatic surface in order to show that it is precisely the component parts of our perceptual apparatus that constitute the specific objective of their operation as tools of our ‘technique’ of intervention in the formation of behaviours.[2]

Between sculpture and painting, Scheggi’s three-dimensional works represent the physicality of the canvas in a poetic manner. Both transcendental and existential, with their concave and deeply shadowed layers of canvas, his works are both captivating to look at and conceptual.

Scheggi’s layered canvases are firmly rooted in art history, and have seen a massive resurgence of interest in recent years. Often seen as a successor to Lucio Fontana’s specialist observations; where Fontana askes the viewer to look beyond the canvas, Scheggi’s works take this idea further as they occupy the space of the viewer, making the viewer look within.

His work is often discussed in the context of the Zero Movement, and compared to artists such as Piero Manzoni for his explorations with existentialism and the space-time continuum. Contemporary artists continue to explore themes which Scheggi pioneered such as, Anish Kapoor, and his investigation into the void.

In 2013, Centro per L’arte contemporanea Luigi Pecci, Prato, held a solo exhibition of works by Scheggi, which included a pivotal installation titled Intercamera Plastica e Altre Storie; a large scale work, originally displayed in 2007 at Galleria d’Arte Niccoli for the MIART (Milan).

Ronchini Gallery’s exhibition will present an exceptional collection of works exploring Scheggi’s fundamental motifs; a rare opportunity to view some of this artist’s most iconic pieces.

In January 2014, a fully illustrated catalogue will be published to accompany the exhibition.

Paolo Scheggi was born in Settignano, Italy in 1940 and attended the School of Art and the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence. Scheggi moved to Milan in 1961, and his first solo exhibition was held at the gallery Vigna Nuova in Florence when he was only 21 years old. He participated in many international solo and group exhibitions during his life including: The XXXIII Venice Biennale (1966); Galleria Arco D’Alibert, Rome (1966); and the Paris Biennale (1967). He died in 1971 at the young age of 31 from heart disease. Posthumous exhibitions include: Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Bologna (1976) (solo); Galleria d’arte Niccoli, Parma (2002, 2007 and 2010) (solo); The XXXVI Venice Biennale (1972); Postwar. Protagonisti Italiani, Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, (2013); Intercamera Plastica e Altre Storie, Centro per L’arte contemporanea Luigi Pecci, Prato, (2013) (solo), Sothebys, Milan (2013).

[1] Forin, Elena (ed.), Elementi Spaziali, Milan: Silvana Editoriale, 2011, pp. 62 – 63.
[2] ibid., p. 12.

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