Thursday, August 29, 2013

A Personal Calligraphy: The Art of Gillo Dorfles - Movimento Arte Concreta

The long-lived artist and art critic Gillo Dorfles was born in Trieste in 1910, and in 2013 was still able to be actively involved in designing the Tibetan Pavilion for the 55th Venice Biennale.

Gillo Dorfles

His chief period as an active artist spanned essentially the life of the influential abstract movement he co-founded, MAC, the Movimento Arte Concreta. MAC was founded by Gillo Dorfles, Atanasio Soldati, Bruno Munari, and Gianni Monnet in 1948, and disbanded in 1958 after the premature death of Monnet. Writing in the New York Times in 1955, when Dorfles was showing a group of monotypes at the Wittenborn Gallery, D. Ashton notes that, "In most of his prints, the emphasis is on a personal calligraphy that can be read for meaning, like handwriting. . . At times the rhythmic interplay of line resembles the intricate symbolic designs on ancient oriental bronzes. In his delicacy of color and the emphasis on integral rhythms, Dorfles achieves a lyrical quality." These comments apply equally to his lithographs of the same period. Sadly I have found it very hard to capture the deep glowing background colours of these lithographs in my photographs - the originals are really intense and vibrant.

Gillo Dorfles
Five untitled lithographs, 1955

Gillo Dorfles
Two untitled woodcuts, 1956

After the disbandment of MAC, Gillo Dorfles devoted most of his energies to teaching and writing about art and aesthetics, though he also continued to create his own art.


Anonymous said...

I have a copy of the English version of his book on kitsch which I bought in the early 70s. I had no idea he made prints. I'm going to get one!

Neil said...

It's always great to join up the dots...