At the Camden Arts Centre, the Unstoppable Explorations of Giorgio Griffa

The colours are those of the Renaissance, of Venice in the 1600s, of Matisse. But the painting - free, abstract and mostly solitary - is all Giorgio Griffa. Among contemporary painting’s most important experimental artists, the eighty-one-year-old lawyer from Turin is in the United Kingdom for the first time with an exhibition which retraces his wanderings. Protagonist of the debate over redefining painting in the Sixties, Griffa never let himself be identified with any movement. Of Arte Povera, with which he has often been associated, he said, “The thing which intrigued me most was that they worked around an intelligent selection of materials - they let the materials at the base of the work guide its outcome - and I believe in the intelligence of painting. I would limit myself to placing the colour on its base material.” More or less diluted, acrylics, temperas and water colours meet the raw canvas stretched out on the floor, triggering the creation of an autonomous “society of signs”. The hand and the mind of the artist follow this progress in a state of “passive concentration”. Primary signs, arabesque lines, canvases broken into fragments, studies of numbers that result in being “constantly unfinished”. Enthusiastically rediscovered in 2012 by critics in the United States, Griffa still paints in his studio in Turin - the adventure continues.
Francesca Grego - © 2018 for Bulgari Hotel London