Arturo Bonfanti : Colour that pulsates in the silence of space

1 December 2011 - 3 March 2012

Lorenzelli Arte proposes a comprehensive retrospective of Arturo Bonfanti, one of the main players of the second after world war period. The artist- who had an exclusive relationship with the Lorenzelli from the 50's until his death, in 1978, who dedicated more than fifteen personal shows to the artist- highlights an ideal and rigorous path of aesthetical search that combines the important Italian tradition and international abstractionism giving place to a very personal language, rooted in our traditions and open to influences from the rest of the world, that evolves itself in a research even still relevant and meaningful. 

The exhibition, that will be shown in the three halls of the gallery, consists of a real and typical anthology and is in any case the first, this complete, in a private space.

Around 100 works will be shown of which oils, relief's, pavatex (fibreboard), minipitture (small canvases) and other sculptures, documenting his path from 1946, a year in which one can position his definitive step towards abstractionism until 1978.  

To complete this exhibition, also his initial period with some still lives of the 30's - 40's will be exhibited in order to show the precise origins of his path towards abstractionism. 

Remarkable for the progress of his work were the friendships with Magnelli, Schneider, Charchoune and Arp in Paris, Max Bill in Zurich, with Baumeister and Fruhtrunk in Munich and with Nicholson and Pasmore in London. 

Bonfanti, who never joined any kind of movement that were established after the war, had found his own individual language, defined in a clear and elegant manner by some critics that have followed his course, just to quote a few; Willy Rotzler, that defines him a silent and accurate worker that has developed his task with a sense of joy in feeling himself artist, careful, precise, cautious towards any solution that presented itself as too easy…Not caring too much about the object itself, but about the internal image of what he was doing. 

Luigi Lambertini, to whom we owe the title of the show, that in few refined words wraps the being of Arturo Bonfanti … Everything is rethought, dreamed, filtered through a memory that purifies the space as a possibility of occurrences, of situations, that agree with the time and in this silence of the luminous colours which find their mysterious balance, their own way to exist and to appear. He continues to search a mystery in which he can identify himself with as well as man as painter. In short, we have a colour that pulsates in the silence of space. 

Marco Valsecchi, that summarizes the dialogue between geometry and colour: … And in the same manner the appearance of colour resembles the growth of a resonance towards his more balanced diapason…the geometry thus is not just the absolute of mathematical constructed commands; it becomes a more spontaneous image of a spiritual order. 

Klaus Wolbert, in his text from the 2001 retrospective at the Institute Mathildenhöle, a delighted synthesis between a performance of essential perfectionism of the object, in the sense of the New Objectivity, and a language of things among the magic and the surreal, in the spirit of the Metaphysical Painting. With these surprising proves of his skill Bonfanti has unnerved the bases of his own subsequent development, as the steps afterwards, that conducted him to concrete art, are connected consequently to his first period. 

Numerous were the group and personal shows to which he participated in international museums such as in the previous years: Kunsthaus Zurich, Peggy Guggenheim (2009), Moderna Museet Stockholm (2008), Palazzo Reale Milan (2007), Kunsthaus Zug, Institut Mathildenhöle Darmstadt, Kunstverein Ludwigshafen, Musée Jenish Vevey, Musée Municipal de Cholet. 

His works can be found among the most important museums and collections. 

Arturo Bonfanti was born in Bergamo in 1905. In 1926 he moved to Milan where he dedicated his life to graphic art and its application. His first personal exhibition took place in 1927 in Bergamo. In 1930 he married Luisa Ferravilla, daughter of the famous actor, and two years after Adriana was born.  
In 1947 he undertook works dealing with abstract geometry. In 1952 where he presented works in motion and cinematography that were exhibited at the VIII Festival of Amateurs in Cannes. There he received the Prix du Film des Marionettes for his work "La chiave di Calandrino." He was a stage director for "Panchina," of Sergio Liberovici, at Teatro Donizetti in Bergamo, in 1956. 

From 1960 to 1975 he had personal and collective exhibitions in various cities in Italy, Europe, and America. He participated in the IX Quadriennale of Rome in 1965, the XXXIV Biennale Internazionale in Venice in 1968, and the X Biennale of San Paolo in 1969. 

He meets again in Canton Ticino his friends Arp and Nicholson and here, in the Studio Lafranca of Locarno he makes a great part of his graphic production. 

In 1975 he had underwent grave internal surgery that severely limited his working and creative abilities. Arturo Bonfanti died in 1978 due to a sudden illness.