10.05.07 | 24.09.07
1960 - 1961
Archivio Opera Piero Manzoni, Milano
On display from 2007 to 2012 (February)
The term a-chrome (literally meaning “colorless”) was chosen by Manzoni to designate a cycle of works conceived in the autumn of 1957 and they continued to be part and parcel
of his development down to 1963, the year of his death. The first Achromes were white canvases soaked in kaolin (the white clay used in making china). The creation of the image
was simply entrusted to the form taken by the material as it set and not the artist’s intervention. In other words, the artist allowed the work to develop on its own, emerging directly from the intrinsic vitality of the material used. Manzoni considered the painting as a surface with an endless potential for creating images, regardless of considerations of the content, composition or dimensions. For this reason he stripped the painting of any external interference, extraneous to the pictorial surface, and opted for a plain, almost featureless texture and a material lacking in tears or stratifications. In this way he eliminated references to any social or personal drama, with the work evoking only its obvious, self-signifying presence. From 1960 on, in an intense experimentation with both natural and artificial materials, the Achromes explored multiple formulations over the years, even acquiring a three-dimensional value.
Manzoni was born in Soncino, in the province of Cremona, on July 13th 1933, of counts Meroni Manzoni di Chiosca and Poggiolo. He studied in Milan at the Leone XIII classical ...
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