New monograph, with thirty emblematic paintings, a text by the artist, and an essay by Francesco Manacorda.
The art of the italian artist Giorgio Griffa developed quietly and with impressive coherence outside the latest movements broadly outlined on the contemporary scene. At the beginning of his career Griffa nonetheless associated himself with the representatives of Arte Povera, with whom he exhibited on numerous occasions in the 1960s and 1970s. His simultaneously “minimalist” painting also displayed an affinity in particular with the group Supports/Surfaces in France.
Elegant, unprimed and unstretched, the canvases by Italian artist Giorgio Griffa offer constellations of horizontal lines and the numerals of the golden mean in a graceful and warm minimalism. Like a melody, a rhythm or a line of poetry, these painted signs in half-tones convey a certain lyricism, one that is also found in the artist's poems.
Griffa's raw canvases are covered with marks in pastel shades of acrylic paint, which he says “are performed by the brush, by my hand, the paint, my concentration, etc.” They attest to his admiration for the artists of ancient times, and his “feeling for the centuries-old memory of painting”. His solo show at the Fondation presents earlier as well as very recent works, including Canone aureo 705 (VVG) (2015), a breath-taking homage to Vincent van Gogh's Starry Night of 1889.
In 1968, Giorgio Griffa (born 1936 in Turin, where he lives and works) abandoned figurative painting in favor of a format of abstract painting that still characterizes his work to this day. Painting with acrylic on raw un-stretched canvas, burlap and linen, Griffa's works are nailed directly to the wall along their top edge. When not exhibited, the works are folded and stacked, resulting creases that create an underlying grid for his compositions. In keeping with his idea that painting is “constant and never finished”, many of his works display a deliberate end-point that has been described as “stopping a thought mid-sentence.” Despite early associations with movements such as Arte Povera and Minimalism, Giorgio Griffa's work was not exhibited in the United States for 40 years after his first solo exhibition in New York at Ileana Sonnabend's gallery. In 2012, Giorgio Griffa had a solo exhibition, Fragments 1968 - 2012 at Casey Kaplan in New York, leading him to be named one of the “10 thrilling rediscoveries from 2012.”