Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art opens an exhibition of works by Bice Lazzari
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Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art opens an exhibition of works by Bice Lazzari
Bice Lazzar, Abstraction of a Line No. 2, 1925. Pencil and pastel on paper, 17 x 17 cm. Private collection, Rome.

LONDON.- The Estorick Collection presents the largest exhibition of work by Bice Lazzari (1900-1981) in the UK to date. One of the most innovative Italian abstract artists of the 20th century, she has been described as the ‘Agnes Martin of Italy’ but has remained largely unknown outside the country of her birth despite her significant contribution. Bice Lazzari | Modernist Pioneer runs at the Estorick Collection from 14 January until 24 April 2022.

Born in 1900 in Venice, Lazzari began her training during the 1920s. As a woman, she was advised not to pursue figurative drawing but to become a designer. In 1935 she moved to Rome, initially supporting herself by collaborating with architects and decorators on abstract designs for clients. It was not until after the Second World War that she was able to devote herself to painting. As she later wrote, “During Italy’s Fascist era, creating abstract art was difficult… I arrived at abstract art without any teachers or models. I knew nothing about abstract painting abroad because of the provincial climate of cultural isolation that held sway at that time.

By the 1950s, she was painting abstract compositions that encompassed the gestural techniques of Art Informel; her mark making was often inspired by music and took the form of continuous annotations, an ongoing visual diary. Lazzari worked with oil paint until 1964, when she was forced to stop due to the damaging effects to her eyes. Compelled to retrain with a new medium – acrylic paint – she turned to minimalism and hard-edged abstraction, making some of the most important works of her career towards the end of her life.

Organised in collaboration with the Archivio Bice Lazzari, Rome, the exhibition features some 40 works highlighting the artist’s lyrical and highly original interpretation of abstract art. The exhibition is curated by Renato Miracco, curator at the Phillips Collection, Washington DC.

The Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art is internationally renowned for its core of Futurist works. It comprises some 120 paintings, drawings, watercolours, prints and sculptures by many of the most prominent Italian artists of the modernist era. There are six galleries, two of which are used for temporary exhibitions. Since opening in 1998, the Estorick has established a reputation and gained critical acclaim as a key venue for bringing Italian art to the British public.

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