press release

At the twenty-ninth Venice Biennale in 1958, an artist from the Italian region of the Marches, Osvaldo Licini (1894–1958) was awarded the Grand Prize for painting, a homage to one of the most original and elusive personalities of the Italian art scene of the first half of the twentieth century. Sixty years after that important recognition and his death, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection commemorates the great master with the long-awaited retrospective Osvaldo Licini: Let Sheer Folly Sweep Me Away, curated by Luca Massimo Barbero.

Eleven exhibition galleries and over one hundred works retrace the disruptive and tormented artistic path of this artist, whose career was characterized by moments of crisis and seemingly sudden stylistic changes. Licini placed painting itself at the center of his artistic research, constantly rethinking his works through anguished experimentation that was never truly completed. With this retrospective, Barbero intends to convey the substantial coherence of this path. Apparent breaks are actually the stages of a singular experience that stand out in the history of twentieth-century art for their absolute lyricism and poetry.

The exhibition is accompanied by a comprehensive illustrated catalogue, published by Marsilio Editore in Italian and English with essays by Luca Massimo Barbero, Chiara Mari, Federica Pirani, and Sileno Salvagnini.

The exhibition programs of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection are supported by the Institutional Patrons, EFG and Lavazza; by the Guggenheim Intrapresæ; and by the Peggy Guggenheim Collection Advisory Board. The educational programs in conjunction with the exhibition are funded by the Fondazione Araldi Guinetti, Vaduz. Thanks to Art&Dossier.