Agostino Bonalumi

Virmercate 1935 - Desio bei Mailand 2013

Due to his extraordinary talent, Agostino Bonalumi exhibited his first pieces, figurative work on paper, at the tender age of 13 in Virmercate. Agostino Bonalumi continued his artistic training autodidactically, while studying technical drawing at the "Institute Tecnico Industriale". Between 1957 and 1958 Bonalumi frequented Enrico Baj's studio in Milan, where he met Piero Manzoni and Enrico Castellani. They had their first exhibition together in 1958.
A little later, Agostino Bonalumi and the two other artists founded the "Azimuth" journal and gallery. At that time, Bonalumi, who had initially been close to Lucio Fontana and Art Informel, mainly focused on reliefs and three-dimensional space arrangements.
In 1960 the founders of "Azimuth" went their separate ways. Agostino Bonalumi and Manzoni join the group "ZERO". Bonalumi was one of the founding members of "Nouvelle Ecole Européenne", a group which was set up a year later in Lausanne. A little later, on the occasion of the "Stagione lirica 70" in Verona, Agostino Bonalumi designed stage and costume for the ballet "Partita" by G. Petrassi.
Hence he also worked as stage and costume designer for various Italian theaters. During the seventies Bonalumi mainly worked in a pronounced three dimensional space and therefore largely abandoned the element of painting: He used elements of wood to break the evenness of the canvas.
Agostino Bonalumi created works, which are strongly determined by geometrical shapes. 20 years later his attempt at breaking up these stiff shapesled him to a freedom of movement of the included objects. Monochrome works appeared, whose ridges and troughs are marked by wires attached on the back. The compact structures of the canvas were broken up by moving systems of lines, which transgress the lateral limitations. Bonalumi participated in several Biennales. Due to his numerous exhibitions in Germany, Italy, Holland, Switzerland and the USA, Agostino Bonalumi has remained in the public eye from the sixties until his death in 2013.

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Chéri Samba
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