Historical works 1957 – 1963
Appunti (1963) represents a pivotal moment in Carmi’s artistic production. It is the apex of the path undertaken by the artist until that moment, the aggregate of the influences and stimuli that he gathered over the years. Starting from Appunti, the exhibition examines Carmi’s artistic production between 1957 and 1963.
The exhibition – curated by Davide Colombo – examines Carmi’s artistic production between 1957 and 1963 starting from Appunti, donated by Carmi to the Museo del Novecento in 2014 as a confirmation of the strong bond that the Genoa born artist has with Milan, the city that adopted him and where he has lived since 1971.
Between 1961 and 1962, Eugenio Carmi produced a series of works in metal entitled Appunti sul nostro tempo (Notes on Our Times) at the Italsider steelworks (formerly the Cornigliano plant) in Genoa, where he worked from 1956 to 1965 as an artistic consultant. The title Appunti sul nostro tempo appears again in the cycle of collages on canvas produced from 1962-63.
The work exhibited here, Appunti (1963), is part of that cycle and was donated by Carmi to the Museo del Novecento in 2014. Appunti represents a pivotal moment in Carmi’s artistic production. It is the apex of the path undertaken by the artist until that moment, the aggregate of the influences and stimuli that he gathered from his activity as a graphic artist, which enabled him to develop a specific attitude in processing an image, and from the Genoese, Italian and international artistic scenario in the second half of the 1950’s.
The works on paper on display – drawings, lithographs, collages and paintings – most of which are exhibited here for the first time, testify the wide variety of experimentations carried out by Carmi between 1957 and 1963 and evidence the specific features of his research.
Carmi is an acute observer of ‘things’, as well as of men and the society that they make up. These notes are the result of a vivid curiosity, the capacity to observe and linger over things, to perceive slight changes and catalyze forms and colours, structures and signs. Carmi observes, absorbs and digests reality and visual sources and then processes them with autonomy and awareness.
The artist uses a method of stratification and reduction. On the one hand, he overlaps fragments of paper with a masterful and delicate use of collage, which is conceived to question the space of the surface to be painted. On the other hand, he knowingly reduces all of the elements to their formal, spatial and chromatic essentiality, highlighting the basic features of painting.