‘Simplicity in tonal and linear relations - that is all that really concerns me now.’ That’s what Italian painter Carlo Carrà (1881-1966) wrote in a letter to poet and artist Ardengo Soffici. Carrà’s works will be on exhibition for free from 8 July to 20 August 2016 at Blain|Southern gallery in Hanover Square, London.
At the centre of Metaphysical Spaces, curated by Ester Coen, an expert on Futurism, Metaphysical Art and Italian and International Avant-Gardes, are Carra’s drawings and paintings, many from private collections and rarely shown publicly.
For example Il pino sul mare (1921) will be shown for the first time in the UK. A dozen other works, including Mio Figlio (1916) and Penelope (1917), comprise a group of Carrà’s key paintings that have not been presented together in over fifty years. Presented alongside Carrà’s paintings are a number of rarely seen works on paper from the Carlo Carrà family archive.
Along with his friend and painter Giorgio de Chirico, he led Metaphysical style of painting. Their discourse began in 1917 when they formally established the principles of Pittura Metafisica.
Influenced by Marinetti and Futurism, Carlo Carrà has years of study behind him and developed his style from his study of the Italian Renaissance painters Giotto and Paolo Uccello. He also lived through intense personal experiences. He travelled to Paris in 1900 on the occasion of Exposition Universelle and had a short visit to London that helped him to widen his views. ‘Coming from Italy – a country then tormented by serious political and social troubles and still going through a period of adjustment, – I then lived for some time in Paris, a rich and carefree city but which, at times, was still perturbed by the clouds of frequent continental crises that blew over from the rest of the continent. An indicator of anxious times ahead. London seemed to me a happy city, a kingdom of fortune and abundance’ , Carrà said.
Although the movement was short-lived, Carrà and a many other artists drew from its tenets even after its dissolution.
Metaphysical Spaces, from 8 July to 20 August 2016, Blain|Southern, 4 Hanover Square London W1S 1BP.