Carla Accardi

Born on October 9, 1924, in Trapani, Italy, Carla Accardi trained as a painter at the Accademia di belle arti, Florence, before moving to Rome in 1946. Accardi quickly became part of the inner circle of the Art Club and was a frequent visitor to Pietro Consagra’s studio. There she met the artists with whom she would establish the influential postwar group Forma 1 (Form 1, 1947–51): Consagra, Piero Dorazio, Mino Guerrini, Achille Perilli, Antonio Sanfilippo (whom she would marry), and Giulio Turcato. The group’s manifesto, which Accardi signed in 1947, called for reconciling Marxist politics with abstract art. The group’s first exhibition occurred in Rome in 1947, and Accardi’s first solo show soon followed, in 1950 at the Galleria Age d’or, Rome. Her early paintings consisted of interlocking geometric forms.
In the 1950s, Accardi was involved in the wide-reaching attempts to revolutionize abstraction through the hybridization of geometric abstraction and gestural painting, both in Italy, where she appeared in Arte astratta e concreta in Italia—1951 (Abstract and concrete art in Italy—1951) at the Galleria nazionale d’arte moderna, Rome, and in France, where art critic Michel Tapié took an interest in her work. (Tapié would later write the introduction to the catalogue accompanying Accardi’s 1959 solo exhibition at the Galleria Notizie in Turin.) After forswearing painting from 1952 to 1953, Accardi began to introduce pseudo-calligraphic signs into abstract images, as in Labirinto a settori (Labyrinths and fields, 1957), while reducing her palette to white-on-black compositions to explore the relationship between figure and ground.
In 1961 Accardi reintegrated color and began painting on sicofoil, a transparent plastic, instead of canvas. She showcased these new strategies at the 1964 Venice Biennale. By the mid-1960s, she was using these new materials sculpturally. Tenda (Tent, 1965) and Triplice Tenda (Triple tent, 1969) feature sheets of plastic assembled into a tent and covered with brightly colored brushstroke patterns. This phase of Accardi’s oeuvre, which was celebrated in the Ambiente/Arte section of the 1976 Venice Biennale, would prove influential for Arte Povera. In the 1980s she returned to canvas and shifted her focus to the use of signs and chromatic juxtapositions.
Accardi’s first U.S. solo exhibition, Triplice Tenda (Triple Tent), was held at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center (now MoMA PS1), New York (2001), and the Musée d’art moderne de la Ville de Paris presented a retrospective (2002). Accardi was named Accademico di Brera in Milan in 1996 and received the Cavaliere di Gran Croce the following year. Accardi died on February 23, 2014, in Rome.

Carla Accardi: Losing the threads of voice
Denys Zacharopoulos writes in his text: “Today Carla Accardi, has to be considered as a major artist...
15 Nov 2013 - 19 Feb 2014
The Great Mother
Through the work of more than a hundred international artists, the exhibition The Great Mother analyzes...
26 Aug 2015 - 15 Nov 2015
Recto Verso
The thematic exhibition “Recto Verso” presents artworks that consciously foreground the hidden, concealed...
04 Dec 2015 - 14 Feb 2016
L’Inarchiviabile/The Unarchivable
FM Centre for Contemporary Art opens on April 7, 2016 with the exhibition L’Inarchiviabile/The...
08 Apr 2016 - 15 Jun 2016
Step by Step
Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo hosts “Passo Dopo Passo [Step by Step]”, the exhibition...
14 May 2016 - 16 Oct 2016
This collaborative exhibition between GAM and Castello di Rivoli examines the use of color in art with...
14 Mar 2017 - 23 Jul 2017
Una colletiva
The gallery’s second exhibition of this year is dedicated to the own represented artists: Accardi,...
16 Mar 2017 - 15 Apr 2017
Antologia Scelta 2018
Tornabuoni Arte renews its annual exhibition of carefully selected art works. This year also celebrates...
01 Dec 2017 - 24 Nov 2018
Oltre la Pittura
Rossi & Rossi presents featured works by six extraordinary artists Carla Accardi, Agostino Bonalumi,...
23 Mar 2019 - 11 May 2019
Gallery Focus: Galleria dell’Ariete. Una storia documentaria
The collective exhibition “Galleria dell’Ariete. Una storia documentaria” (“Galleria...
24 Mar 2019 - 02 Jun 2019
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