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Luciano Bartolini (1948-94) was a fastidious presence in Italian art of the '70s and '8os. The Tuscan artist represented a precise model for all the styles and methods that succeeded one another during those years, and of which he was an intelligent precursor and interpreter. In this retrospective, for example, one sees how in Italian art, the analytical dimension of painting was always accompanied by possibilities for "discarding," for sidestepping, or for moving obliquely like a knight in a game of chess. In the mid'70s, when Bartolini constructed his pieces from unfolded sheets of tissue soaked with color and placed alongside each other, his immediate antecedent was Piero Manzoni rather than Barnett Newman or Yves Klein. Bartolini's characteristic delicacy applies not only to the physical character of the material, but also to the suppleness of the action, deliberately nonideological and nonpolitical yet always tending to diverge from its own norm or violate its internal logic. This was typical of the anal ytical and conceptual work being done in Italy in those days, which was perhaps less rigorous than comparable practices elsewhere, but was also more open to change--more pliant and flexible. Thus it becomes clear that the basis of the work lies in a stance of sensitivity toward the world, rather than in any classificatory and intellectual stance toward reality. (Marco Meneguzzo)
Site dedicated to the artist: www.lucianobartolini.net
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