Segno, materia, gesto

Translated title of the contribution: [Autom. eng. transl.] Sign, matter, gesture

Paolo Bolpagni

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


[Autom. eng. transl.] The essay, included in the catalog of the exhibition held in 2013 at the Museum of Santa Giulia in Brescia, presents one of the sections of the exhibition itself, dedicated to that complex and multifaceted phenomenon that was the Informal. Those that traditionally were the means of painting become ends: the sign, the matter and the gesture take on an autonomous significance, and exploring their expressive potential is one of the main directions pursued. Emilio Vedova, who will be among the first to practice a sort of action painting in Italy at the end of the 1940s is in the phase of "black geometries", where we find echoes of futurist and vorticist dynamism, neocubist suggestions and a dark expressionist ardor , channeled into an abstract design of calculated framework. Mario Ballocco and Giuseppe Capogrossi are both exponents of the Origin Group, born in Milan in 1950: the first invents the "lattices", the "grates" and the "monads" (irregular figures floating in a vacuum), compositions characterized by a " instinctive asymmetry "placed under the domain of the expressive and communicative need. Capogrossi, for his part, is one of the most authentic exponents of Informal signs: in the series of "surfaces" a mysterious archetypal pictorial presence is arranged in variable and rhythmically cadenced graphic textures. The material trend is embodied by Ennio Morlotti: in him the happy paradox of an informal "figurative" is manifested: lumps of color gather on the canvas like a magma, but the titles still refer to recognizable and defined objects or characters. The results of Enzo Brunori's painting are more rarefied: the image is constructed for shaded chromatic zones placed one next to the other, in a precious and well-calibrated texture, of intimate vibration. Finally, with Alfredo Chighine, we move towards a gestural environment: the work is no longer space to think about and build, but rather the result of the signs, brushstrokes and stains produced by the artist, therefore direct testimony of his ego, which it is expressed in leaving a trace on the canvas.
Translated title of the contribution[Autom. eng. transl.] Sign, matter, gesture
Original languageItalian
Title of host publicationNovecento mai visto. Opere dalle col­­lezioni bresciane. Da de Chirico a Cattelan e oltre
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • gesto
  • materia
  • segno


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