Venetian Spatialism


Spatialism, also called movimento spaziale and arte spaziale, is an art movement born in 1946 and funded by Lucio Fontana in Argentina together with Galleria Il Cavallino in Venice. The gallery was also linked to Galleria Apollinaire in Milano, Fontana’s gallery.
The main ideas of the movement were presented in the Manifiesto blanco (White Manifesto) published in Buenos Aires in 1946. The manifesto was about a new "spatial" art in order to keep with the spirit of the post-war age and proposed to synthesize colour, sound, space, movement, and time into a new type of art.
Spatialism painters truly promote the idea of art as gesture or performance, rather than as the creation of an enduring physical work. Its essence consisted in the idea of Space as the union of Time, Direction, Sound and Light.
“To consider those spaces as reality, that vision of universal matter of which science, philosophy, art, have nourished the spirit of man” quoting the manifesto in 1951, introducing for the first time the “Venetians” Anton Giulio Ambrosini, Mario Deluigi, Virgilio Guidi, Berto Morucchio and Vinicio Vianello, joined afterwards by Bruno De Toffoli, Tancredi, Edmondo Bacci and Gino Morandis. The participation of the Venetian group gravitating around Galleria del Cavallino, become real with the exhibition “Mostra spaziale”, organized in Venice in 1953.

Edmondo Bacci

(Venezia, 1913 - Venezia, 1978)

Edmondo Bacci was born on July 21, 1913, in Venice. He studied with Ettore Tito and Virgilio Guidi at the Accademia di Belle Arti, Venice from 1932 to 1937. His first solo exhibition was held at the Galleria del Cavallino in Venice in 1945. In 1948 he participated in the Venice Biennale for the first of many times. Bacci was included in the first Genoa Biennale in 1951 and in an exhibition of the Movimento Spaziale, the group founded by Lucio Fontana, held in Venice in 1953. He contributed regularly to Spazialismo exhibitions thereafter, among them Espacialismo at the Galeria Bonino in Buenos Aires in 1956.
An important solo exhibition of Bacci’s work took place at the Galleria del Cavallino in 1955. His first solo show in the United States occurred at the Seventy-Five Gallery in New York the following year. Solo exhibitions of his work were held also at the Galleria del Naviglio, Milan, the Galleria d’Arte Selecta, Rome, and the Galleria “La Cittadella” in Ascona, Switzerland, all in 1957. That same year he participated in Between Space and Earth at the Marlborough Gallery in London.
Bacci was accorded a separate room at the Venice Biennale of 1958, and he received a Prize of the Municipality of Venice at the Terza biennale dell’incisione italiana contemporanea in Venice in 1959. He was given shows at the Drian Gallery in London in 1961 and at the Frank Perls Gallery in Beverly Hills the following year. In 1961 he also participated in Neue italienische Kunst at Galerie 59 in Aschaffenburg. He executed lithographs to accompany a poem by Guido Ballo, Il ciè-lo Kàinos, in 1972. Bacci died on October 16, 1978, in Venice.

Mario Deluigi

(Treviso, 21 June 1901 – Dolo, 27 May 1978)

He attended the painting course at Accademia di Belle Arti by prof. Ettore Tito and then by Virgilio Guidi.
He started exhibiting in 1928 participating to XIX collettiva dell' Opera Bevilacqua La Masa and in 1930 his works are on view for the first time at Venice Biennale.
Around 1934 he started his interest for cubism, especially synthetic cubism.
From 1942 to 1944 he was Arturo Martini’s assistant at Accademia di Belle Arti in Venice.
His first solo show was in 1944 at galleria del Cavallino. In 1946 together with Carlo Scarpa and Anton Giulio Ambrosini funded Scuola Libera di Arti Plastiche and in the same here he started teaching  set design at Istituto Universitario di Architettura in Venice, where he stayed until 1971.  In 1946 he received the Burano award and in 1947  Abano prize.  In the early fifties he was more oriented to Abstractism.
In 1951 in Milan he signed the Manifesto dell' arte spaziale and then Manifesto del movimento spaziale per la televisione (1952).
He continued his research on space linked to color and light, which became the main theme of his work. not Light is conceived as a structural value, not painted but created inside the painting by signs engraved on the surface. Grattage technique characterized all his works from that moment on and the works on view at the Venice Biennale in 1954, titled “Motivi sui vuoti”.
During the sixties and seventies, Deluigi continued his research on light. He was part of national and international art events, including Venice Biennale in 1930, 1932, 1948, 1950, 1952, 1954, 1962 (solo show), 1968 (solo show) and Quadriennali di Roma in 1959, 1972.

Bruna Gasparini

(Mantova 1913- Venezia 1998)

She was born in 1913 in Mantova. In 1937 she moved to Venice, where she started painting following the suggestions by her masters such as V. Guidi and A. Martiri and by her friends and young artists, like Gaspari, Bacci, Morandis, Basaldella. At the end of the 40’s she started approaching to Abstractism and Spatial experiences through some researches based on space-light-color and she became one of the main protagonist of Spazialismo veneziano, together with Bacci and her husband Luciano Gaspari, with whom she shared her art practice and life.
Her first exhibition was in Padua in 1938 on the occasion ofMostra Universitaria Triveneta d’Arte, and in 1939 she exhibited for the first time at XXII Biennale d’Arte di Venezia, and then again in 1948 and in 1964 in a room set up by her friend Carlo Scarpa. She participated also at Quadriennali di Roma in 1948 and in 1955. Her first solo show was in 1955 Bevilacqua La Masa in Venice. Afterward her artistic career was marked by several imporant exhibitions, both in Italy and abroad. 

Gino Morandis

(Venice 1915-1994)

He attended the art school and then he studied at Accademia di Belle arti di Venezia with Virgilio Guidi. After, he followed him with his friend L. Gaspari, to Accademia di Bologna when he had to leave Venice in 1935.
In Bologna he had the chance to attend Giorgio Morandi’s lessons and to enrich his practice learning the emotional value of color. His first painting experiences strongly referred to his masters and showed delicate naturalistic compositions first and then a particular link to G. Braque’s works.
He started exhibiting very young in 1932 at Mostra Collettiva at Opera Bevilacqua La Masa. Morandis, after his graduation in painting in 1937, he exhibited at II Quadriennale di Roma in 1935; He had to join the army in 1983 and so he had to interrupt his art career until 1943.
He was assistant of Guidi in Bologna from 1943 to 1945, then he thought at Liceo artistico in Venice and after at Accademia di belle arti.
At the end of Fourties, Morandis participated to the particular Venetian atmosphere with his friends Bacci and Gaspari: indeed, in 1948, the Venice Biennale shows two art trends, one linked to realism and a non-figurative one. In these years Morandi started a close friendship with Emilio Vedova. In the meantime, the artist focuses his research on abstract expressions.  
In 1947 he received the Award Gino Rossi at Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa and in 1949 he presented his first solo show at Galleria dello Scorpione in Trieste and in 1957 at Galleria del Cavallino in Venice. In the Fifties he became part of movimento spaziale and he get in touch with the galleriest C. Cardazzo. He was part of the movement shows from 1952 in Venice at Galleria del Cavallino and in Trieste, at Galleria Casanova.
In 1953 he showed with other artists of the Group in Venice at Ridotto (Sala degli Specchi) at Ca' Giustinian, underwriting the manifesto, Lo spazialismo e la pittura italiana nel secolo XX, edited on the occasion by A.G. Ambrosini.
Morandis’ painting became particularly important among the movement in those years: his particular sensitivity to color and his decisive formal vocation, leads him to elaborate an abstract language in order to express his personal inner research.
Morandi’s expressed his spatial concept through a magic atmosphere where signs and colors became symbols and stories. Particularly important in this period the artworks “Immagine n. 136 B”, “Immagine n. 27”, “Immagine in blu”.  The artist carried out a sort of structural decomposition of the forms maintaining its own dynamic unity.
The expressive importance he researched on space color in the following years, made him reach a sort of essential of forms using marked colors, experimenting with reliefs  and using nets.
In 1951 he received the award Saviat at Premio Michetti and in 1964 he won the national Contest for frescoes at the new Policlinico dell'Università di Padova. He participated to several important art events, national and international, like Venice Biennale in 1936, 1948, 1950, 1952, 1954, 1956, 1958, presented by G. Giani, 1962, presented by G. Mazzariol, 1968, presented by B. Morucchío and at Quadriennali di Roma in 1935, 1951, 1955, 1959, 1972.

Saverio Rampin

(Paluello di Strà (VE), 1930 -Lido di Venezia, 1992)

Saverio Rampin was born in Paluello di Strà in 1930. In 1941 the family moved to Venice. At the age of fifteen he began to paint as a self-taught, encouraged by Armando Pizzinato . In 1948 he enrolled in the Free Nude School. In the same year he was included in the collective of the Opera Bevilacqua La Masa. In 1950 he was invited to the XXV Venice Biennale and in 1951 it was his first solo show, presented by Pizzinato at the Sandri Gallery.from Venice. In 1955 he received the Venice Prize at the XLIII Collective of Bevilacqua La Masa and won the Campari for the Burano Prize, which he repeated in 1960. In 1956 he was the first prize ex aequo with Riccardo Licata at Bevilacqua La Masa. In 1955 he was assigned a study at Palazzo Carminati, continues to frequent the Galleria del Cavallino by Carlo Cardazzo, the base of space artists and, through Guidi, comes into contact with the main nucleus of the Milanese spatialists: Fontana, Capogrossi , Crippa and Dova . The partnership with Enzo Pagani, owner of two galleries, began in 1961 and, until 1989, organized fourteen solo exhibitions for him. He died in 1992, after taking home in the Lido of Venice, where the Rampin Archive is now located.

Vinicio Vianello

(Venezia, 1923-1999)

Born in Venice in 1923, Vinicio Vianello studied at Accademia di Belle Arti in Venice with Giuseppe Cesetti, part of Cavallino’s group. He graduated in 1945, but he managed to show his paintings already in 1941, on the occasion of collettiva Bevilacqua La Masa, where he exhibited several times in different occasions until 1950. In 1946 his studio was based at Bevilacqua, important institution for young artists at the time. Vianello represented one of the most significant personalities of the post-WWII Venetian scene and one of the most interesting artists in the Italian painting arena of the fifties and sixties. A multifaceted artist who dealt with painting, ceramics, glass, design, lighting, architecture and even with the research for solar and alternative energies. Vianello’s work is characterized by an elementary painting with a plastic consistency full of enigmatic and disturbing figures. He exhibited more than once at Biennale di Venezia, Triennale di Milano and he received the prestigious award Premio La Rinascente Compasso d'Oro inl 1957. From 1962 he dedicated his research in light systems for architecture. He died in Venice in 1999.

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