Mario Schifano: The ’60s
Luxembourg & Dayan, New York
November 6, 2014 - January 10, 2015
Mario Schifano: The ’60s (2014–15), presented by Luxembourg & Dayan, featured an exhibition of seminal works by one of Italy’s most significant postwar artists. Schifano was a radical figure who considered painting the frontier of the avant-garde. His prodigious talent, somewhat obscured by an eccentric personality and self-destructive drive, was at its height in the 1960s. Mario Schifano: The ’60s invited a new assessment of this iconoclastic artist’s contributions. By focusing on the years when his artistic output was at its greatest intensity, the exhibition captured Schifano’s extraordinary range and his ability to encapsulate the aesthetic contradictions of a nation trying to break free of the recent grip of Fascism and centuries-old artistic traditions amid rapidly changing socio-economic tides.
The major ruptures of Schifano’s career played out to greatest effect throughout the ’60s, a period in which he also created his most compelling and ingeniously experimental works of art—paintings that employed various media and formats. By focusing on this decade, the exhibition reveals the crux of a career that at times aligned with, and alternately stood against, the European avant-garde project at large. Works featured in Mario Schifano: The ’60s have important early provenance, with some having passed through galleries such as Marconi and Ileana Sonnabend and important collections including the Franchetti Collection in Rome.
Mario Schifano: The ’60s was an adapted version of the critically acclaimed exhibition Mario Schifano: 1960–1967 at Luxembourg & Dayan, London (2014). The New York exhibition was organized in collaboration with Giorgio Marconi, Schifano’s gallerist during the late 1960s.