Cortesi Gallery London is delighted to present a selection of works by Gianfranco Pardi (Milan, 1933–2012), which marks the first-ever solo exhibition in the UK dedicated to this important Italian artist, whose works have been previously displayed in 1982 in a group show at Hayward Gallery, London (Arte italiana, 1960–1982).
The exhibition features works from Pardi’s Giardino Pensile made in 1968 to his artistic production during the 1980s and complements a previous exhibition held at Cortesi Gallery in Lugano in early 2016 (Gianfranco Pardi. Opere 1968–1982. Architetture, Poeticamente, curated by Bruno Corà).
Pardi’s artistic research, from its beginning to its very end, offers a continuous survey of space and its representation. By way of rigorous planning, Pardi integrates the techniques of painting, drawing and sculpture to reveal the dynamics and relationships of form and matter. This process was fundamental to his research, to his architectural studies and to his reinterpretation of the historical avant-garde, such as Abstractionism, Suprematism, Constructivism and Dutch Neoplasticism.
“The surfaces of Pardi’s works on canvas became the ‘stage’ on which the geometric design, the diagrams of space, and the patterns of forces, stresses, and tensions through which he conceived the infinite ‘constructive’ and structuring relationships of the work would be played out; not for the purpose of realising the imaginary building, but rather, to explore how painting can grant an image the architectural thought process, the poeticism of inhabiting space.”
(Bruno Corà, Gianfranco Pardi. Opere 1968–1982. Architetture, Poeticamente, Mousse Publishing, 2016).
In 1967, Pardi began his collaboration with Studio Marconi in Milan, presenting his new artistic production. From this year onward, his reflections on architecture were revealed. Giardino Pensile (Roof Garden), 1968, is emblematic in this sense, focusing on simultaneously defined and imaginary spaces, biomorphic structures, the merging of architectural constructions and natural environments, and details of a vision that is more pictorial than real.
In the early 1970s, Pardi’s investigations focused on the series, Architettura (Architecture). In addition to colour, steel bars and metal surfaces also made their appearance on the canvas, marking a transgression of the boundaries between painting and sculpture.
Sistema (System), 1976, attempts to analyse the representation of a constructed system in relation to the specificities of drawing, painting and sculpture. It comprises a pentagon inscribed in a circle and divided into three parts: a relief in wood, a painted canvas that reveals the traces of the geometric construction, and a sculpture that follows the construction of the pentagon.
To complement the exhibition, a selection of works from the 1980s will also be shown. These include Diagonale (Diagonal), acrylic on canvas, 1982, Casa (House), 1981, and Cinema 02/1 (Cinema), mixed media on paper laid on canvas, 1987.
The exhibition has been organised in collaboration with the Fondazione Marconi and the Associazione Culturale Gianfranco Pardi – Archivio Gianfranco Pardi, both based in Milan. It will be accompanied by a catalogue by Bruno Corà: Gianfranco Pardi. Opere 1968–1982. Architetture Poeticamente, Mousse Publishing, 2016, and produced on the occasion of the show at Cortesi Gallery Lugano in 2016.