Carla Accardi (Italian, 1924-2014) Negativo (ideogramma) 1954

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Lot 14AR
Carla Accardi
(Italian, 1924-2014)
Negativo (ideogramma)
1954

Sold for £ 105,062 (US$ 130,850) inc. premium
Carla Accardi (Italian, 1924-2014)
Negativo (ideogramma)
1954

signed
enamel and casein on canvas

88.5 by 116.5 cm.
34 13/16 by 45 7/8 in.

This work was executed in 1954.


Footnotes

  • This work is registered in the Archivio Accardi Sanfilippo, Rome, under no. 50.

    Provenance
    Architetto Luigi Moretti Collection, Rome
    Thence by descent to the present owner

    Exhibited
    Paris, Galerie Rive Droite, Individualités d'aujourd'hui, 1955

    Literature
    Germano Celant, Carla Accardi. La vita delle forme, Rome 2011, p. 320, no. 1954 40, illustrated in colour; p. 321, illustrated in black and white (installation view)



    Negativo (ideogramma) from 1954 is a rare and intricate painting by Carla Accardi which was purchased by renowned architect Luigi Moretti in the mid-1950s and has stayed in his family collection since.

    Luigi Moretti was one of the most prominent Italian architects and designers of the Twentieth Century having worked on the design of landmark buildings of pre and post WWII. His projects have included the design of Casa del Balilla (1932-1937) and Accademia di Scherma (1936) in Rome, the house Il Girasole in 1949, which is considered one of the earliest example of postmodernist architecture, as well as the Watergate Complex in Washington (1962-1971) and the Stock Exchange House in Montreal, which by the time it was completed in 1964 was the tallest building in Canada. Luigi Moretti was also an intellectual and a writer; in 1950 he founded the architectural magazine Spazio and in 1954 he opened Galleria Spazio in Rome. Open for two short years, the gallery hosted an exhibition of Carla Accardi's work in 1955. This painting, thanks to art critic Michel Tapié, who met Accardi in 1954 and who became extremely interested in her works, was also exhibited at Galerie Rive Droite in Paris in 1955 alongside works by Franz Kline, Georges Mathieu, Karel Appel and Claire Falkenstein.

    This work was executed in a pivotal moment in the artist's career; in 1953, after a period dedicated to constructive-concrete paintings, Carla Accardi started to focus on pseudo-calligraphic signs and it is in 1954, the year of the execution of the present work, that she started to alternate black and white segments which would evolve into the increasingly complex structures, that are visible in the present work. This painting is considered a 'negativo' (negative), here the white and dark grey segments are painted alongside one another on a black background in opposition to her 'positivo' (positive) works which are conceived the other way around. This 'language' which explores the relationship between figure and ground will become the leitmotiv of Carla Accardi oeuvre and one which would continue to evolve until Accardi's death in 2014.

    Today Carla Accardi is finally regarded as the most important Italian female artist of the Post-War period and her works are held in the most prestigious public collections such as the Guggenheim in New York, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna in Rome and the Fondazione Prada in Milan.
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