News - Giorgio Griffa at Camden Arts Centre

Camden Arts Centre will present the first UK solo exhibition of Italian abstract painter Giorgio Griffa next year... 

Closely linked to the Arte Povera movement, Griffa first became known in the 1960s as part of an Italian generation of artists who proposed a radical redefinition of painting. The exhibition will provide a rare opportunity to discover the breadth of the artist’s practice, incorporating works from the 1960s through to today.

Giorgio Griffa’s minimalist approach reduces painting to its essential elements: raw canvas, colour and brushstrokes. Griffa believes in the ‘intelligence of painting’, creating with what he calls ‘passive concentration’. Carefully following material behaviours as they play out on the canvas, he allows the instruments of painting to lead as the work’s protagonists: the type or width of brush or sponge, the colour or dilution of paint used, the nature of the canvas, whether linen, cotton, hemp or jute.

Often working directly onto canvas laid out on the studio floor, Griffa’s rhythmic, formal gestures soak into the unprimed, unstretched material, reflecting on painting as a performative, time-based process. Suggesting the ongoing and organic life of the painting, lines and brushstrokes are deliberately cut short and the canvas is never filled; never a finished or complete object, but a process viewed in the moment, Griffa’s works remains open as a metaphor for a permanently unfinished space. At the age of 81, Griffa continues to make work in his studio in Turin.

Giorgio Griffa (b. 1936) lives and works in Turin, Italy. Recent solo exhibitions include: Giorgio Griffa: The 1970s, Casey Kaplan, New York, USA (2016); Works on Paper, Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, Italy (2016); Giorgio Griffa, Fondation Vincent Van Gogh Arles, Arles, France (2016); Quasi Tutto, Serralves Museum, Porto, Portugal (2015); Painting into the Fold, Bergen Kunsthall, Bergen, Norway (2015); and A Retrospective 1968 – 2014, Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève, Geneva, Switzerland (2015). Griffa is currently exhibiting at the Venice Biennale 57th International Art Exhibition, Viva Arte Viva, which is his third time at the Biennale following presentations in 1978 and 1980.

Giorgio Griffa, 26 January – 8 April 2018, Find out more at

Image - Giorgio Griffa, Verticale orizzontale, 1978. Acrylic on canvas, 45.3 x 61.8" / 115 x 157cm. Photo: Jean Vong. Courtesy the artist and Casey Kaplan, New York
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