Italian painter, among the significant representatives of the Italian Abstractionism and founder of the “Forma 1” in 1947, an artistic movement which considered the mark as pure form and rejected any connection with the Italian painting of the previous twenty years, overtaking it and coming back to the abstractionism and formalism.
Born in 1924 in Trapani, Carla Accardi graduated from Academy of Fine Arts in Florence. During the Forties she moved to Rome and there she met the artists Piero Consagra, Piero Dorazio, Mino Guerrini, Achille Perilli, Antonio Sanfilippo and Giulio Turcato, with whom she founded one of the most important artistic group of the Postwar period, called Forma 1, trying to reconciliate the Marxist politics with abstract art, an artistic movement which considered the mark as pure form and rejected any connection with the Italian painting of the previous twenty years, overtaking it and coming back to the abstractionism and formalism. . The group’s first exhibition was held in Rome in 1947.
Three years later, Accardi had the first solo exhibition, at the famous Gallery Age d’or. Her early paintings consisted of interlocking geometric forms. In the Fifties, Accardi was involved in the wide-reaching attempts to revolutionize abstraction through the hybridization of geometric abstraction and gestural painting, both in Italy, where she appeared in Arte astratta e concreta in Italia – 1951 (Abstract and concrete art in Italy – 1951) at the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, Rome, and in France, where art critic Michel Tapié took an interest in her work. In this period Accardi began to introduce pseudo-calligraphic signs into abstract images, while reducing her palette to white-on-black compositions to explore the relationship between figure and ground. In 1961 Accardi reintegrated color and began painting on sicofoil, a transparent plastic, instead of canvas. She showcased these new strategies at the 1964 Venice Biennale. By the mid-1960s, she was using these new materials sculpturally.
Tenda (Tent, 1965) and Triplice Tenda (Triple Tent, 1969) feature sheets of plastic assembled into a tent and covered with brightly colored brushstroke patterns. These artworks may be an important precedent to many works that focus on domesticity and place rather than on an abstract notion of space. It is also one of the primary early artworks that involve the idea that architecture and experience can be nomadic or provisional. This phase of Accardi’s research is good represented by the artwork Rosa Grigio (Pink Grey), dated 1966, and this phase was celebrated in the Ambiente/Arte.
From Futurism to Body Art exhibition, curated by Germano Celant, at the 1976 Venice Biennale. In the 1980s she returned to canvas and shifted her focus to the use of signs and chromatic juxtapositions: the artwork Capriccio spagnolo 4 (Spanish Capriccio n. 4), made with vinyl on raw canvas, is a great example of her phase of research. The Accardi’s first U.S. solo exhibition, entitled Triplice Tenda (Triple Tent), was held at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center (now MoMA PS1), New York (2001). After this exhibition, the Musée d’art moderne de la Ville de Paris presented a great retrospective in 2002.