This catalogue was published on the occasion of the exhibition “Giorgio Griffa”, held from 13 February to 24 April 2016 at the Fondation Vincent van Gogh Arles.
The art of the italian artist Giorgio Griffa developed quietly and with impressive coherence outside the latest movements broadly outlined on the contemporary scene. At the beginning of his career Griffa nonetheless associated himself with the representatives of Arte Povera, with whom he exhibited on numerous occasions in the 1960s and 1970s. His simultaneously “minimalist” painting also displayed an affinity in particular with the group Supports / Surfaces in France.
Elegant, unprimed and unstretched, the canvases by Italian artist Giorgio Griffa 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, one that is also found in the artist’s poems.
Griffa’s raw canvases are covered with marks in pastel shades of acrylic paint, which he says “are performed by the brush, by my hand, the paint, my concentration, etc.” They attest to his admiration for the artists of ancient times, and his “feeling for the centuries-old memory of painting”. His solo show at the Fondation presents earlier as well as very recent works, including Canone aureo 705 (VVG) (2015), a breath-taking homage to Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night of 1889.