Turi Simeti

Turi Simeti is an Italian painter affiliated with Spatialism and the ZERO group. and is considered a true pioneer, a “maestro,” of 20th and 21st Century Italian art. Simeti is often described as an engineer of light, color, and geometry. Simeti was born in Sicilia in 1929 before moving to Rome in 1958, where he then started painting as an autodidact. Simeti embarked upon a successful career as an artist in 1962, developing the oval motif that would be a keystone of his work for decades to come. Known for his Minimalist, monochrome canvases, Simeti worked alongside other members of the avant-garde such as Yves Klein and Piero Manzoni. Simeti’s work embodies the desire of the artists of his generation to capture a peaceful quality through monochromatic abstraction during the aftermath of World War II. Simeti's first Milanese years led to a considerable number of experiences where the surface of his canvases became a space to be conquered with radical elements, drawn both from minimalism and the notion of the monochrome. For the last 50 years, Simeti has created in his works different types of tension on several formats, frequently relying on small-scale canvases to produce startling dimensions. Usually employing the motif of the oval and oblong ellipses, he has attempted to develop an irregular writing system that liberates the surface of the canvas from the old principles of materiality which allowed nothing but the silent expression of the dynamic patterns dancing across the monochromatic surfaces of shaped canvases. This focused combination of color and shape speaks to Simeti's concern with emphasizing the physical presence of the artwork itself, rather than an expression of the artist's voice. Simeti’s work explores the play of light on shapes created on monochromatic and tactile canvas surfaces. His works exist not as single entities but as an active experience of color, shape and shadows that ultimately captures the dynamism that exists between these aesthetic elements. Simeti monochrome shaped canvases are examples of pure formalism that helped pioneer the now well-established idea that paintings can be three-dimensional art objects. Always subtle, his oeuvre is dynamic in its textured surfaces, saturated colors and masterful shadow work. Since 1965 his work has been exhibited in galleries and museums worldwide, and is included in prominent collections such as the MAM (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), the Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bolzano (Bolzano, Italy), and the Wilhelm-Hack-Museum (Ludwigshafen, Germany). In 1965, he was included in “ZERO Avantgarde,” an exhibition of young Italian artists held at Lucio Fontana’s atelier in Milan. After this, he had solo exhibitions around the world, such as the prestigious Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice. He currently lives and works in Milan, Italy.

  • Mauro Corda / Umberto Mariani & Italian Monochromes

    Mauro Corda / Umberto Mariani & Italian Monochromes

    Paris

    March 17, 2017 - April 06, 2017

  • Monochromaniac

    Monochromaniac

    New York

    November 18, 2016 - December 03, 2016