Molinari, the Seventies

June 14 to August 27, 2023

Curator: Margarida Mafra, in collaboration with Gilles Daigneault

This exhibition provides an overview of Guido Molinari’s prolific pictorial output in the 1970s, highlighting key works from this historic period as well as a number of previously never before exhibited paintings from the Foundation’s collection.

His work throughout this decade is particularly marked by the renewal of his formal structures, via the introduction of the triangular form, as well as his exploration of the effects resulting from his formats’ verticality and monumentality.

The vertical stripes typical of his earlier stylistic syntax are first halved, in the form of checkerboards, and then cut diagonally, to enhance the dynamic energy of the oblique line. On the one hand, his geometric grids become increasingly complex, and on the other, his colour chart expands from luminous hues to broken colours.

The selection of works highlights his language’s rich metamorphoses, from the creation of the last paintings with their wide vertical stripes in 1969, to the works that ushered in the Quantificateurs, created with nothing but the colour black as of 1978. These eloquent and dynamic works invite us to experience the “painting as a site of energetic events.”

“The large-format painting places viewers in an environment where they will be more involved, not only in the semantic structure of the painting, but also in the physical experience of the various energetic phenomena unfolding in the operative field that constitutes the work itself.”

                       – Guido Molinari, citation published in the catalogue Grands Formats, Montréal, Musée d’art contemporain, from January 22 to February 15, 1970, pp. 20-23.

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