press release

Elegant, raw and unstretched, the canvases by Italian artist Giorgio Griffa (b. 1936 in Turin) offer constellations of horizontal lines and the numerals of the golden mean in a graceful and warm minimalism. Like a melody, a rhythm or a line of poetry, these painted signs in half-tones convey a certain lyricism. This poetic sentiment imbues the oeuvre of this artist, who has remained faithful to his medium since the 1960s.

This solo presentation of the work of Giorgio Griffa, which runs parallel to the exhibition Très Traits, features the artist’s large-format Canone Aureo (“Golden Ratio”) canvases, characterised by their formal reduction, alongside an ensemble of earlier works comprised of arabesques, signs and numbers.

Giorgio Griffa’s biography

Giorgio Griffa (b. 1936, Turin) is an Italian artist living and working in Turin. Griffa describes his practice as “constant and never finished”, and adhering to “the memory of matter” and the belief that the scope of painting is infinite. The artist considers materiality paramount in his acrylics on unstretched canvas and linen works, and places emphasis on the act of painting through gesture, colour, and texture.

Since the late 1960s, Griffa has maintained a language of simple, distinct movements that reveal the densities of the matter—the acrylic seeps into the fabric and each brushstroke is memorialized. Once the fabric has dried, he gently folds it into equal segments to create an archive of sorts that records the action of painting. As his signs have developed over the years, i.e. numerical systems and symbols have emerged, what endures is the enduring autonomy of painting and the impact of the matter, as the canvas itself dictates the outcome.