Agostino Bonalumi | Original prints, lithographs, etchings and illustrated books




Agostino Bonalumi (Vimercate, 10 July 1935 - Desio, 18 September 2013) was an Italian painter, considered one of the most important figures of the abstract art of the 20th century.
After technical-mechanical studies, Bonalumi became very young in the artistic climate of Milan, attending the studio of Enrico Baj where he met Lucio Fontana, Piero Manzoni and Enrico Castellani.

Recognizing the end of the propulsive thrust of informal art, he collaborated with the Azimuth magazine, which proposed the total cancellation of the previous artistic experience and a new beginning, based on a new pact with social progress.

This zeroing was carried out by Manzoni, Castellani and Bonalumi with the use of monochrome canvases (often totally white), extroflexed with various techniques in order to create effects of changing lights and shadows with the inclination of the light source. Piero Manzoni chose kaolin and cotton as his favorite materials for his "Achromes", while Enrico Castellani and Bonalumi started a course of study and analysis of the possibilities provided by the extroflexing of the canvas through the use of nails and ribs ( Castellani) and of wood and metal shapes inserted behind the canvas (Bonalumi).

The work of Agostino Bonalumi, despite the constant fidelity to the artistic medium initially chosen, is considered by many critics to be extremely imaginative and always new in the creation of new and original plays of light and shadows. Particular attention must be paid to the work of the seventies and eighties, with perspective shadows contrary to the directions of the normal light sources, creating a disorienting effect, this approach is to be explained as an element of break with traditional pictorial standards, in fact if during the course of art history man has always studied perspective to create a realistic pictorial effect, Bonalumi the limelight, or distort it by creating his own "point of view" in line with the primian movement of which he was a part.

His first personal exhibition dates back to 1956 at the Galleria Totti in Milan. In 1958 with Castellani and Manzoni he exhibited at the Galleria Pater in Milan, followed by other exhibitions in Rome and Milan. In Lausanne, in 1961, at the Kasper Gallery he was among the founders of the "New European School" group.

In 1965 Arturo Schwarz presented a personal exhibition of Bonalumi in his Milan gallery. In 1966 he began a period of collaboration with the Galleria del Naviglio in Milan, publishing a monograph in 1973 for Edizioni del Naviglio edited by Gillo Dorfles. Also in 1966 he was invited to the Venice Biennale with a group of works.

Bonalumi exhibited in a personal room at the 1970 Venice Biennale. He participated in the Biennale also in the years 1966 and 1986. In 1980 his works were exhibited in a large solo exhibition at the Palazzo Te in Mantua. In 2001 he received the President of the Republic award. In 2002 he presented the "opera ambiente" at the Guggenheim Museum in Venice. He has also exhibited, among the many exhibitions dedicated to him, at the San Paolo Biennale in Brazil (1966), at the Paris Biennale (1968) and at the Fort Lauderdale Museum of Art in Florida in 1981.

In 2006 he received the Artist of the Year Award.

Bonalumi's works are actively sought by collectors from all over the world and are constantly exchanged in the most prestigious auctions such as the famous "Italian Sales" in London. Not of secondary importance is the poetic activity of Agostino Bonalumi, who published, between 2000 and 2010, six books of poetry: joke me (Colophon, 2000); I listen to you to get back to things (with a thought from Concetto Pozzati, Book Editore, 2001); Difficult to grasp (Edizioni Il Bulino, 2002); Just try it (Colophon, 2006); it was nothing (Book Editore, 2008); Difficult to be there (with an introduction by Leonardo Conti, Vanillaedizioni, 2010).