Critics’ Picks

View of “Carla Accardi,” 2018, Francesca Minini, Milan.

View of “Carla Accardi,” 2018, Francesca Minini, Milan.


Carla Accardi

Francesca Minini
Via Massimiano 25
September 18–November 17, 2018

Galleria Massimo Minini
Via L. Apollonio 68
September 22–November 10, 2018

Carla Accardi’s marks—remote yet imminent—conjure shining cosmic fibers, like constellations from the future. Entire galaxies can now be seen in one project spanning two cities and venues, both of which highlight later works of the Italian postwar avant-garde pioneer, who died in 2014. At Galleria Massimo Minini in Brescia, works on paper from the late 1960s are put in dialogue with ones dating from 2001 to 2010; Milan’s Francesca Minini gallery displays paintings made between 2003 and 2010.

Accardi’s vibrant signs—in these galleries, rendered on floor pieces, Sicofoil, and traditional canvases—recapitulate an emotional dimension, not in psychological terms but rather in the very need to communicate and act in association with the other. Through repetitions and returns, constrictions and expansions, chromatic illuminations and extinctions, she acts simultaneously in multiple directions, examining the epic possibilities between form and tone. With an opaque, often fluorescent palette, Accardi, who began her career in the 1940s, spent her later years eking out a sort of monumental imagination in acrylic. In both locations, her esoteric yet familiar symbols, squiggles, cursive loops, and radiant tendrils become reminders of life’s incessant flux: Her images never conclude but continuously turn back onto themselves, not as sterile repetition or as pure self-analysis, but as the liberation of an irrepressible vital energy. This energy lives in the flexible legibility of Accardi’s signs, in the distension of cheerful tones, in the presence of tentative boundaries and horizons, and in colorful shadows.

Translated from Italian by Marguerite Shore.