Manzoni “Azimut” Show opens at a specially lit Gagosian Gallery, Brooke St., Mayfair, London

PRESS RELEASE

GAGOSIAN GALLERY, LONDON W1K 3DE

GALLERY HOURS:                                Mon–Sat 10:00am–6:00pm

MANZONI: Azimut

Thursday, 17 November 2011–Friday, 6 January 2012

Opening reception: Wednesday, November 16th, from 6 to 8 pm

Following the acclaimed exhibition “Manzoni: A Retrospective” inNew Yorkin 2009, Gagosian Gallery is pleased to present “Manzoni: Azimut” at theDavies Streetgallery in London. Organized in cooperation with the Fondazione Piero Manzoni, the exhibition celebrates the work of Manzoni and fellow artists during the brief life of the Azimut gallery in Milanfrom 1959 to 1960.

On December 4 1959, Azimut opened, in the basement of a furniture store on a narrow street around the corner from La Scala in Milan, with an exhibition of Manzoni’s most radical work to date: Linee (Lines), drawings of a single line on a length of paper, signed, rolled up and sealed in a cardboard tube, which he then labeled. A youthful, experimental exhibition space that lasted just eight months, Azimut presented thirteen exhibitions and became a nerve center for an international set of provocative young artists. The founding of the gallery by Manzoni and Enrico Castellani, with the help of their mentor Lucio Fontana, followed their collaboration on Azimuth, a journal dedicated to the “development of the newest and youngest avant-garde painting.” Featuring works by Robert Rauschenberg, Heinz Mack, Jean Tinguely, Yves Klein, and others, the two issues of Azimuth stand as essential documents of a radical “new conception” of painting at the end of the 1950s.

The exhibition “Manzoni: Azimut” brings together pivotal examples of Manzoni’s serial Achromes, Linee, Uova Scultura (Egg Sculptures) and Corpi d’Aria (Bodies of Air) with early experimental paintings by his friends and collaborators in the Azimut project Enrico Castellani, Agostino Bonalumi, Dadamaino, and their guide Lucio Fontana. It is accompanied by a comprehensive publication by art historian Francesca Pola that tells the story of the Azimut/Azimuth project and includes facsimiles of the journal with new English translations.

Piero Manzoni was born inSoncino,Italy, in 1933 and died inMilan in 1963. His brief career was one of the most radically inventive of the twentieth century, producing a body of work that continues to challenge the definitions of artistic sovereignty and virtuosity. His work is represented in public collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Tate Modern,London; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, Rome; and Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Turin. It has been the subject of numerous international exhibitions, including retrospectives at the Musée d’art moderne de la ville de Paris (1991), Herning Kunstmuseum (1991), Castello di Rivoli,Turin (1992), Palazzo Reale (1997), Serpentine Gallery,London (1998), and MADRE,Naples (2007). The 2009 Gagosian Gallery exhibition, curated by Germano Celant, was the first comprehensiveU.S. retrospective of Manzoni’s work.

For further information please contact the gallery at london@gagosian.com

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