Gianfranco Baruchello | Original prints, lithographs, etchings and illustrated books




Gianfranco Baruchello (Livorno, 1924) is an Italian artist and painter.

Gianfranco Baruchello was born in 1924: his father is a lawyer, director of the Industrial Union of Livorno and a professor at the University of Pisa, his mother is an elementary teacher. After the war he graduated in Jurisprudence with a thesis in Economics, and in 1947 he worked at Bombrini Parodi Delfino. [1] Between 1949 and 1955 he was in charge of the creation of the biological-chemical research and production company Società Biomedica. In 1959 Baruchello left the company to devote himself completely to art.

His first training took place in a Parisian climate: he met Roberto Matta and three years later Alain Jouffroy. In 1962 he met Marcel Duchamp. In New York in 1964 he met John Cage and confronted American pop art and abstract expressionism. The American experiences are concretized in the large white canvases Other tracks, with thick and thick strips of black paint; the European heritage materializes instead in the creation of objects close to the spirit of the Nouveau Réalisme. 1962 saw the participation in the New Realists exhibition organized by Pierre Restany at the Sidney Janis Gallery in New York (to which also exhibited Enrico Baj, Tano Festa, Mimmo Rotella and Mario Schifano). However, active participation in the world of international avant-gardes only partially influences Baruchello's research, which appears to be essentially autonomous from the beginning. In 1963 he held a solo show at the Galleria La Tartaruga in Rome, presented by Jouffroy: there is a fragmented, miniaturized painting on large white surfaces, made up of signs, writings, drawings, with frequent references to the symbols of consumerism and television. [ 2]

His first cinematographic experiment dates back to 1960: Molla. On the other hand, in 1963, the film The Zero Degree of the Landscape, which was followed in 1964 by Uncertain Verification, [3] a film of found footage in collaboration with Alberto Grifi: a large quantity of cinematographic waste material, consisting of a film of commercial US cinema from the fifties, it was purchased by Baruchello and from it an assembly was obtained, obtained from pieces of film glued with adhesive tape.

Painting, cinema and book production are just some of the languages that Baruchello experiences; from the second half of the sixties his activity falls within the sphere that Enrico Crispolti defined as extra-media: calligraphic painting, production of objects, literary, theatrical texts, films, videotapes, photography, agricultural operations, in a continuous tension overturning the codified conventions proposed by the mass media. [4]

Cornelia Agricultural Company was founded in 1973; is a farm that is based and operates within the land purchased in the same year by Baruchello in via di Santa Cornelia, on the outskirts of Rome. Slowly the company expands occupying and also cultivating the surrounding land, removing it from building speculation, with an attitude between the artistic happening and the political intent. After the purchase of the occupied land, the operation assumes the value of a reflection on the relationship between agricultural product, artistic product and respective value, an operation also of Duchampian flavor but faced by lowering itself into the materiality of work and into the world of economic laws. The company, in name and in fact, also leads to a series of paintings and two books: Agricola Cornelia S.p.a. 1973-1981, catalog of an exhibition at the Galleria Milano (Milan) where Baruchello exhibits, in addition to the cited paintings, materials related to the experience of Agricola Cornelia, [5] and How to imagine, a long interview (conducted by Henry Martin), of which only the answers remain in the book.

At the end of the eighties, in the spaces that had hosted the Agricola Cornelia, Baruchello created "Il Giardino", a project that presented in 1989 at the Spoleto Festival "Voci sull'acqua" in a performance that sees the artist curating a small Gingko Biloba bonsai. The Garden is a space for the identification of the mind in the earth, in the trees and in the bushes.

In 1998 the Baruchello Foundation was born in the former home - studio of the artist, on the Roman hills in via di Santa Cornelia (Rome).

Between the end of 2011 and the beginning of 2012, curated by Achille Bonito Oliva, the National Gallery of Modern Art in Rome presents the anthological exhibition Gianfranco Baruchello. Some ideas.

From June to September 2014, at the Deichtorhallen Sammlung Falckenberg, in Hamburg, the retrospective Gianfranco Baruchello opens. Certain Ideas. Retrospektive, curated by Dirk Luckow, in collaboration with the ZKM / Karlsruhe, where the exhibition will move in November 2014 (1 November 2014 - 29 March 2015), curated by Andreas Beitin and Peter Weibel. The Baruchello catalog is published for this exhibition. Certain Ideas, curated by Achille Bonito Oliva, Carla Subrizi, Dirk Luckow, Peter Weibel, Harald Falckenberg (Electa, 2014).

Radio 3 has named him "artist of the year 2016".