Vincenzo Agnetti

Vincenzo Agnetti

Vincenzo Agnetti (1926–1981) was born in Milan and lived in Italy for most of his life. He graduated from the Brera Academy in Milan and attended the Piccolo Teatro school. In 1962 Agnetti moved to Argentina, where he worked in the field of technological automation. After a brief but formative stop-over in New York, Agnetti returned to Italy in 1967. Although he kept in touch with his artistic peers in Milan during his years abroad, little remains of his artistic output before this period. Agnetti began working in Art Informel and poetry at an early age and contributed to the journal Azimuth, which was founded by Enrico Castellani and Piero Manzoni and remains a key document of the Italian avant-garde at the dawn of the 1960s. Later in that decade, Agnetti exhibited his Macchina Drogata in Milan against the backdrop of student protests across Europe. This social tumult formed an opportune ground against which Agnetti pursued his deconstruction of language and power. Continuing this practice into the 1970s, Agnetti worked prolifically to explore the possibilities of language as both a foundation and a material for art-making. He emerged as one of the most significant conceptual artists in Italy. The material rigor of his work forged an important link between the itinerant international circuit of Conceptual art and the emergent Arte Povera context. A lifelong writer, Agnetti wrote expansive criticism as well as analysis of his own work.

Solo exhibitions and surveys of Agnetti’s work have been presented at Palazzo Serbelloni, Milan (2016), Museo D’Arte Contemporanea Villa Croce, Genova (2013), Centro Italiano Arte Contemporanea, Foligno (2012), and MART, Museo di Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto (2013). Among many other group exhibitions, Agnetti’s work was included in Documenta 5 (1972), and four Venice Biennales (1995, 1993, 1978, and 1976). A retrospective of his work will be presented at the Palazzo Reale in Milan, from June to September of this year. The exhibition at Lévy Gorvy is the first solo presentation of the artist’s work in London. Lévy Gorvy will also present an exhibition of Agnetti’s work in New York in summer 2017, accompanied by an illustrated catalogue featuring new scholarships well as the artist’s writings.

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Selected Works

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  • Ritratto di uomo
    1971
    Photographic enlargement on emulsioned canvas

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  • Paesaggio
    1971
    Engraved and painted felt
    31 1/2 x 47 1/4 inches (80 x 120 cm)

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  • Oltre il linguaggio, Semiosi
    1970
    Photographic enlargement on emulsioned canvas
    25 3/4 x 15 3/4 inches (65.5 x 40 cm)

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  • Oltre il linguaggio, Semiosi
    1970
    Photographic enlargement on emulsioned canvas mounted on chipboard
    35 7/16 x 25 9/16 inches (90 x 65 cm)

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  • Oltre il linguaggio
    1970
    Photographic enlargement on emulsioned canvas
    50 3/4 x 40 1/2 inches (129 x 103 cm)

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  • La macchina drogata
    1968
    Olivetti divisumma 14

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  • La macchina drogata
    1968
    Olivetti divisumma 14

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  • Time goes beyond presence as emptiness and silence
    White nitro on engraved Bakelite
    31 1/2 x 31 1/2 inches (80 x 80 cm)
    Signed and dated Agnetti 71 (on the reverse)
    Unique

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  • Assioma - Il valore culturale di un'opera è direttamente proporzionale alla necessità che suscita in noi
    1971
    White nitro on engraved Bakelite
    31 1/2 x 31 1/2 inches (80 x 80 cm)
    Signed and dated Agnetti 71 (on the reverse)
    Unique

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  • Given two or more work instants there will always be a work duration containing these given instants
    1972
    White nitro on engraved Bakelite
    31 1/2 x 31 1/2 inches (80 x 80 cm)
    Signed and dated Agnetti 71 (on the reverse)
    Unique

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Exhibitions

Publications

Selected Press

Blouin Artinfo | Vincenzo Agnetti at Lévy Gorvy, New York

July 25, 2017

The exhibition celebrates that gallery’s new collaboration with the Archivio Vincenzo Agnetti Milan, …

The Brooklyn Rail | Vincenzo Agnetti: Territories

July 14, 2017

Agnetti is leading us somewhere, although where that is isn’t exactly clear. But the trip is highly …

Flash Art | Vincenzo Agnetti: Static Theater

June 1, 2017

With "static theater" Agnetti means "a show no movement, no characters and no text." "Oscar Wilde", …

Artforum | Critics' Picks: Vincenzo Agnetti

April 13, 2017

London has been reevaluating what it knows about the Italian neo-avant-garde of late: Exhibitions …

Art Daily | Lévy Gorvy present first London exhibition of Italian artist Vincenzo Agnetti

April 3, 2017

Lévy Gorvy presents the first exhibition in London of Vincenzo Agnetti, one of the most significant …

Galleries Now | Vincenzo Agnetti: Territories

April 1, 2017

The gallery presents the first exhibition in London of Vincenzo Agnetti, one of the most significant …

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