Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid

MUSEO NACIONAL CENTRO DE ARTE REINA SOFIA MNCARS | Santa Isabel 52
28012 Madrid

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press release

The exhibition dedicated to Francesco Lo Savio (Rome, 1935 – Marseilles, 1963), organized by the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, is the artist’s first in Spain. The retrospective covers approximately eighty percent of Lo Savio’s work produced throughout his five-year career: paintings from his early period, monochromes, filters, metal works and his final Articolizioni totali. Curated by Daniel Soutif, the exhibition also includes a series of works related to architecture, one of the artist’s passions in his later moments of life; as such, the artist committed suicide in a house designed by Le Corbusier within his Cité radieuse de Marseille.

Despite Lo Savio’s premature death at age twenty-eight, the artist has gradually become one of the most important figures for the art scene in the latter half of the twentieth century. In merely five years, Lo Savio not only contributed some magnificent paintings to Informalism, still predominant at the time he made his artistic debut; he also radically broke away from its conventions to invent a new language that, years before its time, foresaw research yet to come in 1960s American painting, particularly in Minimalism.

Lo Savio’s oeuvre is so revolutionary and prolific that today it is not only considered one of the most important precursors to American Minimalism, but also to Conceptual art in Europe. Lo Savio has always been well respected by artists and a small group of loyal followers. Yet, today his work deserves the same recognition as that of his contemporaries, such as Piero Manzoni and Yves Klein.

Greatly concerned with lighting and installation, his sculptures, paintings, monochromes and metal works are often influenced by Lucio Fontana. At the limits of monochrome, he conceived paintings like Spazio-Luce, other explorations he titled Filtri and also the fantastic Metalli, whose deep black shading combines painting and sculpture with baroque-like folds and curves in an extraordinary play on light. Finally, Lo Savio created such a vital, innovative work with his Articolizioni totali, exhibited at the end of 1962, that few understood it at the time.

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Francesco Lo Savio
Kurator: Daniel Soutif