This weekend I had the beautiful opportunity to visit an exhibition by the Italian artist Giorgio Griffa in the Serralves Museum in Porto, Portugal.
Here some information about the artist from the exhibition panels:(..)
It was interesting for me to see painting as a performance , and the use of the raw unframed canvases. They had a lot of wrinkles from folding and I asked the staff if it is possible that the wrinkles were there since the 60’s. The canvases are folded again every time they are transported to a new exhibition, so the wrinkles are transforming and a little bit different every time.
The exhibition showed Griffa’s work in chronological order with the first canvases being mostly monochromatic with a simple repetitive and sometimes interrupted pattern of strokes or sponge impressions.
Later they had more colours and more intricate pattern. The arabesque became e recurring element, as well as numbers and some text.
I loved the beauty in the simple harmonious canvases . For me it was a remarquable study in mark-making. One art work looked very very similar to the very first exercise in mark-making of the first chapter of Foundations drawing:
It was a revelation to see the beauty in this simplicity. I was also very touched by the quotation of Griffa here above: “the difference between colour and line is illusory because it depends only upon the width of the brush and how the brush is applied to the canvas.”
A very interesting thought as I am now navigating between still life in tone and line.