Bice Lazzari: The Poetry of Mark-Making

23 October 2018–24 February 2019

Exhibition Overview

bico lazzari.jpg

Bice Lazzari, Acrilico n. 6. 1975. Acrylic on canvas, 9 7/8 x 9 7/8 in.

Born in 1900 in Venice, Bice Lazzari carved out a singular path in the history of post-war Italian art. For most women in Italy at the time, the possibility of forging a career in the fine arts was limited. Yet, she was determined to find her own voice. Her paintings of the 1950s are expressive and abstract, while her work over the next two decades becomes increasingly reductive, resonating with utmost control and minimal gesture. Using pencil, ink, and pastel, Lazzari drew lines in rhythmic formations to create poetic compositions that resemble graphs, maps, musical staffs, and notes. Later in her career, she further simplified her imagery, drawing or painting grids, lines, rows of dots and dashes, and irregular shapes against a monochromatic background. Reflecting her lifelong passion for music and poetry, Lazzari’s compositions create interacting linear rhythms that come alive in a manner akin to musical notation.

(Photo courtesy of The Phillips Collection.)

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