Carla Accardi

(b. 1924)

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(1924– )

Italian painter and installation artist, a founder member of the Forma Uno group in Rome in 1947. After the group dissolved in 1951 she went through a period of self-doubt but started painting again in 1953. Her early painting resembled automatic script on a monochrome ground in the manner of Tobey's ‘white writing’, but she later moved away from this kind of Art Informel to more deliberately planned compositions. This was in line with the tenets of the Continuità group, which she joined in 1960. In 1965 she began painting on a transparent plastic called sicofoil, which at first she mounted on canvas but later mounted on wooden stretchers so that both support and the wall beneath would be visible. Subsequently she made the sicofoil into free-standing rolls. This use of the material was extended into installation in Orange Environment (1966–8), in which a painting on the wall is brought together with objects such as a bed, a tent, and a parasol, all in sicofoil with orange squiggles. Her work has been associated with feminist artists in America, such as Joyce Kozloff, who were concerned with Pattern and Decoration, although she had little contact with activities on the other side of the Atlantic. She has stated that ‘the artistic message is intrinsic to art itself, and its form when properly expressed is independent of the life of the artist’.

Further Reading

J.-P. Criqui, ‘Carla Accardi’, Artforum International (April 2002)

Subjects: Art.

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