curated by Simone Zacchini
Sergio Lombardo’s (Rome, 1939) second show at 1/9unosunove gallery presents to the public a substantial series of work formed after the artist’s recent experiments with Stochastic Paintings. These are loosely based on Stochastic Tiling, in which the painting surface is made from a minimal, complete, and compact combination of tiles created by stochastic form-generating algorithms. The series presented here comes from this exploration of Tiling, called Quilting, in which forms are created using a combination of solely black and white stochastic tiles.
Next to some of the larger-sized compositions already presented at the Mudima Foundation in Milan last March, Quilting presents never before seen work in a smaller format. Unlike larger paintings, these new canvases are more fragments that appear random and incomplete on their own, but that potentially have an infinite number of possibilities. The composition’s algorithms are similar to those used by Lombardo on works of a larger scale, but here the psychoactive potential of the form is enhanced by how the tiles are assembled, as the viewer’s field of vision is drawn to a surface made by a collection of images. The pattern of each tile is even more striking with the use of black and white and is able to expand in four directions while allowing for a variety of combinations. This lends the work a “compressed” feel that activates a different response in the viewer than the sense of “vastness” created by big canvases.
The show can therefore be viewed as a fitting complement to the Mudima Foundation’s exhibition, and also as the latest evolution in theoretical research, as published in the catalogue Sergio Lombardo. Stochastic Works 2012-2017 (Mudima, 2017)
Artist and psychologist, Sergio Lombardo is among the major Italian artists who have reinvented the international artistic landscape since the end of the 50s. In his long career, beginning with his first Monochromes in 1958 which were characterized by a sort of programmed discontinuity, Lombardo has developed various types of work based on experimental methods and scientific study: Monocromi (Monochromes, 1958-1961); Gesti Tipici (Typical Gestures, 1961-1963); Uomini Politici Colorati (Politicians in Color, 1963-1964); Supercomponibili (Supercomposables, 1965-1968); Sfere con sirena (Spheres with a Siren, 1968-1969); Progetti di Morte per Avvelenamento (Project of Death by Poison, 1970-1971); Concerti di Arte Aleatoria (Concerts of Random Art, 1971-1975); Specchio Tachistoscopico con Stimolazione a Sognare (Tachistoscopic Mirror with stimulation to Dream, 1979); Pittura Stocastica e Pavimenti stocastici (Stochastic Painting and Stochastic Tilings, from 1980 to present date); Mappe minimali (Minimal Maps, 1996-2002).
At the beginning of the 60s, Lombardo was one of the major players, along with other artists from the so-called “School of Piazza del Popolo”, of the historic, international avant-garde and Italian pop art. The work that followed, distancing itself from painting, appeared incoherent from a stylistic point of view when considering what preceded it, but it is possible to notice a progression if both are seen from a “theoretical evolution” lens, which Lombardo fully developed in the Seventies. At this time, his studies centered on Jartrakor and the Rivista di Psicologia dell’Arte. During this decade, through diverse devices and experimental methods, Lombardo studied aesthetic limits and the potential of perception as well as the role of the subconscious, offering a new take and interpretation on art based on the principles of spontaneity, expressive abstinence, and structuralism.
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