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Paolo Cotani, Tensioni, 1993, polyester bands, steel, 72 1/2 × 23 3/4 × 3 1/2".

Paolo Cotani

Primo Marella Gallery

Paolo Cotani, Tensioni, 1993, polyester bands, steel, 72 1/2 × 23 3/4 × 3 1/2".

Paolo Cotani (1940–2011) first gained acclaim in the 1970s as one of the protagonists of Pittura Analitica (Analytical Painting). This movement, particularly in Italy, France, and Germany, aimed to scrutinize painting’s social issues, psychological motives, and linguistic effects. At that time, painting was seen as an obsolete expressive tool, under attack by Arte Povera and a younger generation of conceptually minded artists. Cotani superimposed monochromatic bands of colored fabric in a quest for a painting that resisted the medium’s conventions while using a recognizable, even canonic, form. This exhibition, curated by Alberto Fiz, emphasized Cotani’s late production and included works that bear witness to a fresh expressive development that became increasingly radical in the new millennium.

Indeed, most of the approximately twenty works on view typified a sort of “exit from

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