Agostino Bonalumi: A Theatre of Forces

Agostino Bonalumi: A Theatre of Forces


Agostino Bonalumi, Blu abitabile (detail), 1967. Vinyl tempera on shaped canvas, 300 x 340 cm (16 panels). Courtesy Archivio Bonalumi.

October 30, 2023
Agostino Bonalumi
A Theatre of Forces
November 1, 2023–February 3, 2024
Opening: November 1, 6–10pm
Mazzoleni Turin
Piazza Solferino, 2
10121 Turin

Mazzoleni is marking the tenth anniversary of Agostino Bonalumi’s death (1935–2013) with a major retrospective of the artist’s work, Agostino Bonalumi: A Theatre of Forces (Il Teatro delle Forze). The exhibition will be inaugurated in Turin on the November 1, 2023 and will be open to the public until February 2024.

Alongside a rich selection of large-scale plastic and or three-dimensional works, the show will also present a series of original documents and sketches, thanks to the collaboration with the Archivio Bonalumi in Milan, the Fondazione Cini in Venice and loans from the Archivio Storico of Rome’s Teatro dell’Opera and the Fondazione Egri per la Danza (Turin). The exhibition, curated by Marco Scotini, will focus on one of the most remarkable phases of Bonalumi’s creative activity (from the late 1960s through the 1970s), but will begin by exploring two of Bonalumi’s lesser-known works which require a multidisciplinary approach to their exploration.

Agostino Bonalumi: A Theatre of Forces focuses on the sets and costumes created for the ballet Partita conceived and choreographed by Susanna Egri with music by Goffredo Petrassi and the “choreographical action” Rot by Domenico Guaccero and Amedeo Amodio, staged respectively at the Teatro Romano in Verona in 1970 and the Teatro dell’Opera in Rome in 1973.

The title of the exhibition directly references the ‘theatrical machine’ as an object, while also alluding to the plastic forces which each of Bonalumi’s works embodies. Within even Bonalumi’s earliest works, it is evident that there is “a force that presses from within the work, everting the surface”, with each work born out of the dialogue between the internal pressures of a body and the external resistance with which the surface of the canvas opposes.

Thus, a theatre of forces undoubtably at work in Bonalumi’s monochromatic plastic works, representing the many forces within theatre itself, in which there is a thing and its opposite, two entities (or two masks) in conflict. With this concept in mind, it is no wonder that the two theatrical spaces of Partita and Rot became the settings par excellence for Bonalumi’s plastic-dynamic research. As a result of this, these great theatrical spaces are also a platform which allows us to evaluate Bonalumi’s shift from painting to this plastic environment.

Mazzoleni is a leading Post-War Italian and contemporary art gallery based in London and Turin. With over 35 years of activity, Mazzoleni focuses on a museum-calibre exhibition programme and participates in the main international art fairs, including Art Basel, Frieze, and TEFAF, as well as Artissima, Artefiera and Miart. Most recently, the gallery has expanded its reach towards new art scenes with its participation in Frieze Seoul, Art Abu Dhabi and Art Dubai.
The Mazzoleni collection is exhibited in museums and institutions worldwide, such as: the Centre Pompidou and Palais de Tokyo in Paris; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation in New York; the Smithsonian Institution in Washington; The State Ermitage Museum in St. Petersburg; Tate and the Estorick Collection in London, as well as Museo del Novecento in Florence, the GNAM in Rome, MADRE Museum in Naples, Triennale Milano and Palazzo Reale in Milan, and the Venice Biennale. Mazzoleni represents the Estate of Agostino Bonalumi.

Agostino Bonalumo: A Theatre of Forces (Il Teatro delle Forze)
Curator: Marco Scotini / Curator Assistant: Arnold Braho
Mazzoleni, Torino. November 1, 2023–February 3, 2024
Private view: Wednesday November 1, 2023, 6–10pm

Gallery hours: Tuesday–Saturday 10am–1pm and 3:45–7:15pm, Sunday–Monday by appointment
Contact: T (+39) 011 534473 / torino [​at​]
Press office: Lucile Brun, lucile [​at​] / T (+39)340 0664675

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October 30, 2023

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