Di Donna Galleries is hosting an exhibition “Nuvolo and Post-War Materiality 1950–1965” at the gallery’s New York location.
Curated by renowned art historian and theoretician Germano Celant, the exhibition sheds light on the early career of Italian painter Nuvolo (né Giorgio Ascani; 1926–2008), who was deemed as the pioneer of screenprinting techniques. After his stint in the Resistance in World War II, the Umbria-born artist moved to Rome and began to explore his artistic instincts with influence from artists who also shared his artistically progressive investment towards unconventional materials and techniques. Residing within a two-dimensional, rectangular format typically associated with easel painting, Nuvolo’s groundbreaking techniques banked heavily into the tension and textural variations, employing a gamut of materials — from commonplace textiles to deerskin.
In the late 1950s, the artist began to produce his first improvisational works using a motorized sewing machine, which are known as “cuciti a macchina.” These constructions were composed of fragments of Nuvolo’s own clothing or other dyed fabric, which were stretched over canvas or collaged into abstract compositions and occasionally enhanced with paint. His “daini” series consists of segments of deerskin sewn together into loose grids. The artist also used the sewing machine to create evocative drawings made of stitched thread on unprimed canvas, which culminated into his “diagrammi” series. The show brings together 20 such works by Nuvolo, many of which are on view from the first time outside Italy. These works are contextualized by important works by other artists working in Italy, Spain, France, and the United States from the post-war period, such as Alberto Burri, Ettore Colla, Pietro Consagra, Jean Fautrier, Lucio Fontana, Addie Herder, Piero Manzoni, Conrad Marca-Relli, Manolo Millares, Mimmo Rotella, Angelo Savelli, Salvatore Scarpitta, Toti Scialoja, Antoni Tàpies, and Cy Twombly.