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Il “surrealismo morfologico” di Gian Carozzi

Lara Conte


The research of painter Gian Carozzi (La Spezia, 1920 – Sarzana, La Spezia, 2008) represents a case-study of the dynamics of reception of surrealism in immediate post-war art in Italy, in a dialogue between center and periphery. Carozzi left his hometown, La Spezia, in 1949, moving to Milan. There, in 1950, he exhibited at Carlo Cardazzo’s Galleria del Naviglio, one of the key venues for avant-garde art. During his stay, he met Lucio Fontana and was among the signatories of two manifestos of spatialism, the 3° Manifesto dell’Arte Spaziale (26 November 1951) and Manifesto del Movimento Spaziale per la Televisione (17 May 1952). Carozzi’s involvement with the spatialist group would eventually be limited to a short period between 1951 and 1952, capped by the exhibition Mostra Nazionale Artisti spaziali (Trieste, Galleria Casanova, 15 November – 12 December 1952). This paper aims to analyze Carozzi’s research between 1948 and the mid-1950s, a period marked by a transition from “morphological surrealism” (as Corrado Cagli termed it), to tachisme and “new figuration”. Such line of inquiry may shed some light on several phenomenological aspects of the gestural and sign-oriented renewal of painting in spatialist research, in a perspective based on the “field” of the canvas and pictorial surface as its point of reference.