Gianfranco Zappettini, Con-Centro no 103, 2018. Resins, Fassadenputz and acrylic on board, 290 x 330 cm. Courtesy Mazzoleni.

Gianfranco Zappettini
The Golden Age

Mazzoleni Art, London / United Kingdom

February 7–April 11, 2020
January 24, 2020


Private view: February 6, 6–8pm

Mazzoleni Art
27 Albemarle Street
London W1S 4HZ
United Kingdom

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Mazzoleni London presents The Golden Age, a solo exhibition of paintings by Gianfranco Zappettini and curated by Martin Holman. The exhibition will open to the public on Friday, February 7 and continue until Saturday, April 11, 2020, followed by a second show from April 23 to July 4, 2020 at the Mazzoleni gallery in Turin.

Gianfranco Zappettini, co-founder of the international Analytical Painting movement in the 1970s (which spanned Italy, Germany, France, and the Netherlands), is considered one of the most relevant living abstract Italian painters. The term "Analytical Painting" (Analytische Malerei), was coined by art historian and critic Klaus Honnef in 1974. Zappettini’s works have been exhibited in public museums across Europe (Westfälischer Kunstverein in Münster, 1971; Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna, Turin, 1977; Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, 1978; Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome, 1981) and at documenta 6 in Kassel in 1977.

The London exhibition will focus on a completely new series of paintings, which investigates the symbolic meaning of gold as a metaphysical sense of spiritual perfection, not just as a precious material. Moreover, Zappettini’s extensive personal research on Taosim, Zen and Sufism is intrinsic to this body of work. The colour gold is the theme of the installation and as Zappettini states, “While the time of myth is cyclical, there is also correspondence between past and future, between end and beginning, because what has been will necessarily repeat again. A new ‘Golden Age’ will follow the age in which we are living—a final epoch, degenerate and stripped of spirituality: this narrates the myth and this may prefigure art, capable of conserving the most profound values and, like myth, of passing the confines of time.”

The artist’s method is based on calm attentiveness; each and every area of the painting, meticulously separated from one another, can be distinguished through the density of colour and expressed through the respective stratification of the painterly material. For Zappettini painting is a spiritual exercise; the colours utilised in his work—the gold, silver and bronze of his Warp and Weft (La Trama e l’Ordito) series—allude to meanings of a metaphysical order which communicate the ancient splendours of a time when art still had a propensity towards the divine, recalling Fra Angelico, Simone Martini and Ambrogio Lorenzetti.         

The Turin exhibition will also display other paintings from series dating back to the 1990s and 2000s.

The illustrated catalogue will be published by Skira, and includes essays by Dr. Martin Holman, British curator and art critic; Prof. Klaus Honnef, German museum director and art historian and critic; Prof. Paola Valenti, professor of contemporary art history at the University of Genoa.