Mazzoleni at FRIEZE Masters Seoul 2023

Mazzoleni, Frieze Seoul 2023. Courtesy Mazzoleni, London-Torino. Image: Mark Blower

Mazzoleni was thrilled to return to Frieze Masters Seoul last week for its second iteration, following the success of its first year, with a project presenting a selection of works by three major post-war and contemporary Italian artists: Agostino Bonalumi, Nunzio and Salvo.

Salvo, Una sera, 2001. Oil on canvas, 100 x 150 cm. Courtesy Mazzoleni, London – Torino.

The subtle ongoing legacy between these artists and their approach to key concepts such as form, colour and matter, as well as their innovative approach to painting and sculpture, was emphasised by placing them in dialogue and attracted numerous collectors to the booth from across the globe.

With this year marking the 10th anniversary of Agostino Bonalumi’s death, Mazzoleni saw a significant interest in the artist’s work, which is expected to grow exponentially in the coming months. This interest was confirmed by a significant sale made of Agostino Bonalumi’s Bianco (1975), which sold in the region of 70,000 to 90,000 USD.

Agostino Bonalumi, Bianco, 1975. Shaped canvas and vinyl tempera, 70 x 60cm. Courtesy of Mazzoleni, London – Torino.

Bonalumi was greatly influenced by one of the most influential Italian artists of the mid-20th century, Lucio Fontana (1899-1968). Fontana’s spatial research inspired Bonalumi’s monochromatic shaped canvases and the investigation of time, space and structural rhythm. His work Nero, 1970 is an example of the artist’s decisive research linked to the overcoming of the subjectivity and self-referentiality of informal art: in search of the ‘form’ that would be able to translate a new dimension of space, bending the material boundaries of the artwork.

Mazzoleni represents the estate of Agostino Bonalumi and to mark the anniversary of his death, will be showcasing his work in two exhibitions in both London and Turin, giving further insight into his expansive oeuvre as highlighted at Frieze Seoul. 

Extroflexions

The exhibition The Paradox of Proximity: Agostino Bonalumi and Lee Seung Jio, a collaboration with Kukje Gallery will be open from 11 October to 30 November 2023, at Mazzoleni London. The show is curated by esteemed Italian writer, art critic and curator Marco Scotini, in conjunction with Archivio Agostino Bonalumi, Milan and the Estate of Lee Seung Jio, Seoul. This intimate display will showcase pioneering abstractionist Lee Seung Jio’s works, in dialogue with Agostino Bonalumi’s “extroflexions”, which seek a new dimension of space through monochromatic shaped canvases, each named after a specific colour.

In Turin, Mazzoleni will present a major retrospective of Bonalumi’s work, also curated by Marco Scotini, entitled Agostino Bonalumi: il Teatro delle Forze, opening on 1 November. Alongside a rich selection of large-scale plastic and three-dimensional works, the show will also present a series of original documents and sketches, thanks to the collaboration with the Archivio Bonalumi in Milan and loans from major institutions such as, the Fondazione Cini in Venice and the Archivio Storico of Rome’s Teatro dell’Opera.

Salvo’s work was also incredibly well received at Frieze Seoul, with the public showing great appreciation for his simplistic landscapes composed with bright colours, depicting architectural ruins and visions of classic columns.  Quoted by Luigi Meneghelli in 2003, Salvo said“I have literally been conquered by painting: it is something that opens spaces for me, it opens my knowledge, my mind” and it was perhaps evident at Frieze Seoul that Salvo’s masterful rendering of light within his compositions, opened his landscapes to the viewer and allowed them to immerse themselves in his dreamlike scenes.

Salvo (1947-2015) was an emblematic figure of the Italian conceptual art scene. He experimented with existential questions such as the influence of consciousness and personal experience on the perception of objects.  Since the 1970s, the artist has constructed an impressive repertoire of streets, houses, trees, minarets, mosques, ruins and nocturnes, which have no reference to reality but are presented on the stage of the imaginary, such as Una sera, 2001.

Vision

Contemporary artist Nunzio’s works also attracted great interest from the public, in particular his works using combustion on wood, such as Untitled (2019). These works were priced in the range of 90,000 to 150,000 USD and saw great interest from a range of collectors throughout the duration of the fair.

Nunzio (born 1954) is playing a decisive role in the configuration of a different vision of sculpture, structured around his personal conception and exploring the language of form and its interrelationship with space. From the beginning of his career, he has pushed the boundaries of appearance, resulting in magnificent architectural works that interweave substance, body and void in a stunning balance of rhythm. Throughout his artistic research, Nunzio develops a dialogical and personal relationship with culture and history, praising a subtle and filtered approach to the past.

Nunzio, Untitled, 2019. combustion on wood, 236x 40 x 40cm. Courtesy of Mazzoleni, London – Torino.

The second iteration of Frieze Seoul marked an unequivocal success for Mazzoleni, with a steady stream of sales made throughout the fair and electric atmosphere felt by both collectors and gallerists alike.

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See also: Sotheby’s to Sell $400m Emily Fisher Landau Collection

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