GRIFFA - RAJLICH

QG Gallery is happy  to announce our upcoming duo show with artists and friends Giorgio Griffa (b. 1936, Italy) and Tomas Rajlich (b. 1940, Czech Republic).
The exhibition will highlight their constant research in abstract painting and their focus on colour, with works from the early 1970’s to Today.

Giorgio Griffa was born in Turin in 1936. He lives and works in Turin. His exhibition activity began in 1968. He has collaborated with Gian Enzo Sperone and with many other galleries such as Sonnabend, Martano, Biasutti, Toselli, Ariete, Templon, Lorenzelli, Milione. He has exhibited in several relevant events such as Contemporanea al Parcheggio di Villa Borghese, the Biennale of São Paolo, and the Biennale di Venezia (1978, 1980 and 2017).

Giorgio Griffa is regarded as one of the major protagonists of Abstractism, one of the most creative exponents of the artistic trend “Analytical Painting” or “Pittura Pittura” that emerged at the end of the Sixties.
Constants of Griffa’s oeuvre are the unfinished, the choice of anonymous patterns, and the repetitions of the same sign on the canvas. This sign is both same and different because of the hand’s imperfections.
The canvases, support-free, are hung on the walls. His works are free canvases, never stretched. Colour means action, sign is the result of a thought. The essential formal composition is distinguished by the use of signs, lines, stripes, arabesques, sometimes vague, at other times with a uniform colour background all painted straight on the rough canvas. It is an immediate painting, vivid and intense, executed without hesitation and, at the same time, with true emotion. This way of painting focuses on colour and space, the essential aspects of the pictorial composition.

Griffa’s career has been marked by several exhibitions in private and public institutions. Among the most relevant are: the solo shows in 2001 in Galerie Walter Storms Munich and GAM Turin; in 2005 in Kunstlanding and Neuer Kunstverein Aschaffenburg, and in the Mathildenhohe Institut Darmstadt; in 2009 at Lorenzelli Arte Milan and in 2011 in MACRO Rome, and just recently until June 27 2022 at the Centre Pompidou, Paris

The group shows include: in 2007 in Museo della Permanente Milan; in 2008 in Casa del Mantegna Mantua, in Time&Place Turin/Milan, in Moderna Museet Stockolm and Neue Galerie am Landesmuseum Graz; in 2009 in the Peggy Guggenheim Collection Venice and in 2015 in Casa Cavazzini Udine. In 2015 the solo show “Esonerare il mondo / to relieve the world” in ABC-ARTE Genoa, under the patronage of the Genoa Municipality, was listed among the events of public relevance. In 2017 Griffa represented Italy together with Riccardo Guarneri at the 57° Biennale di Arte Internazionale in Venice.

His works are also shown in Galleria d’Arte Moderna (GAM) and Castello di Rivoli, both in Turin, Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna Rome, Museo Arte Gallarate (MA*GA), Museo del Novecento and Gallerie d’Italia Milan, Museo di Arte Contemporanea Rome (MACRO), Tate Modern London, Museo Cantonale d’Arte Lugano, Dallas Museum of Art, Fundacao de Serralves Porto, Centre d’Art Contemporain (CAC) Geneva, and Centre Pompidou in Paris, amongst others.

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Tomas Rajlich (1940) studied at the School of Decorative Arts and the Fine Art Academy of Prague. In 1967 he founded the group Klub Konkretisu,, which was orientated towards the international neo- avantgardes represented by Azimut in Italy, ZERO in Germany and Nul in the Netherlands. In 1968 his work was first presented on the international scene when he participated in the exhibition Sculpture Tchécoslovaque in the Musée Rodin in Paris.

He went into exile from Czechoslovakia in 1969 after the Soviet invasion and moved to Netherlands, where he became a teacher at the Vrije Academie in The Hague. Rajlich’s interest in the construction of monochrome works on geometrically regular grids was immediately viewed favourably in the climate of Dutch conceptualism.
He held fundamental solo exhibitions in 1974 in the Yvon Lambert gallery in Paris, Art & Project in Amsterdam, and Francoise Lambert in Milan, which were his key galleries for many years. In 1975 he featured with Brice Marden, Robert Ryman, Gerhard Richter and others in the memorable exhibition “Fundamentele schilderkunst: Fundamental painting” in the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. It was a milestone in the international recognition of analytical painting.
In the following years Rajlich was invited to show his work in such fundamental exhibitions as “Elementaire Vormen” (travelling exhibition, 1975), “Fractures du Monochrome aujourd’hui en Europe” (Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, 1978) and “Bilder ohne Bilder” (Rheinisches Landesmuseum Bonn, 1978).
Rajlich’s canvases show an ongoing concern with the “fundamental” in painting, not unlike contemporary work by the American Minimalist painters. His early works are characterized by an industrial outlook and a modular quality – their trademark is the grid –, while Rajlich’s mature works show a more complex treatment of the key idea that painting is a self-reflective entity. His recent monochromes explore the combination of the impersonal, the gestural and the creative force of light; they are variations on the intensity, luminosity and facture of the paint, all while clearly remaining a factual painting.

His first retrospective was held in Palazzo Martinengo, Brescia in 1993. His adoptive country, the Netherlands, honoured Rajlich with the prestigious Ouborg Award for his artistic contribution in 1994. On that occasion the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague inaugurated a second retrospective. Ten years later, in 2005, the same museum marked his sixty-fifth birthday with a retrospective of his works on paper. In Czech Republic, the Dum umení mesta Brna organised an anthological exhibition in 1998, while in 2008 the National Gallery of Prague opened a retrospective with 27 large canvases, followed by a one-man show in the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague in 2016, Museum Kampa in Prague in 2017, and Museum Boijmans-Van Beuningen in Rotterdam in 2018.
Rajlich is rightly recognised as one of the leading figures of the international neo-avantgarde.
From 1999 to 2002 he was artist in residence at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, whose collection includes works by him. His works are also held by the Centraal Museum, Utrecht, the Musée d’Art et d’Industrie, Saint Étienne, the Musée Cantini, Marseille, Museum Boijmans-Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the National Gallery, Prague, the Peter Stuyvesant Foundation, Amsterdam, the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, the S.M.A.K., Ghent, the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, the Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, the Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal, Leiden, and the Stedelijk Museum Het Prinsenhof, Delft.