33.4 x 13.6 x 11.3 cm
Acrylic on copper
Collection Museum Haus Konstruktiv
Piero Dorazio (born 1927 in Rome, Italy, died 2005 in Perugia, Italy) was one of the most important, internationally renowned Italian Abstract and Concrete painters. During his architectural studies, which he began in 1945, he painted his first abstract works, influenced by Cubism, Futurism, and Suprematism. A scholarship at the École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts in Paris in 1947–48 provided him with the chance to become familiar with modernist artists first-hand. He also traveled to the US, where he established contact with representatives of Abstract Expressionism. His main focus was the investigation of color, light, and shadow. Piero Dorazio also worked as an art critic, and he was influenced by Vasily Kandinsky’s writings on the immaterial and spiritual aspects of painting. In 1951, the artist gave up his career as an architect and devoted himself entirely to painting.
In 1963, Piero Dorazio founded the Institute of Contemporary Art in the US. He also developed his first painted mesh-like structures in his studio in New York, which would form the basis of his work for a long time to come. Back in Italy, Dorazio joined the artists’ group in Milan called Movimento d’Arte Concreta, which promoted a geometric approach to art. Dorazio’s grid-like structures were already beginning to consist of overlapping vertical, horizontal, and diagonal colored lines since the end of the 1950s. While color always had its own value, the articulated structure was free from the austere ideals of the early Constructivists. From the middle of the 1960s on, these lines became increasingly replaced by larger forms: rectangles, rods, stripes, bars, and beams. The meshes became less dense and created a spatial effect. The shapes became more agitated, or were not always solidly painted. In his next phase of paintings, he worked with stripes that are partially curved and are set next to each other. From 1974 on, the painter went back to smaller structures with dash-like, broken-up lines that give the surface a shimmering appearance.
In his last period of works, Piero Dorazio also painted on copper, wood, and Plexiglas, deriving the structure from the materials themselves. He also went back to regular compositions in which the energy of color is dominant, as perfectly illustrated in the work “Superovo.” By integrating oscillations and nuances, Dorazio never ceased to explore the physical qualities of painting and the subtle changes of color contrasts. Throughout his entire career, he remained interested in the nature of light and the playful interaction between light and shadow.