What is striking about the avant-garde, “Spatialist” Italian artist Paolo Scheggi, is the quirky 60's feel to his works - the bright block colours and layers of canvas with oval and circle cut outs entitled “Intersufaces”. This is unsurprising given he belonged to the neo-avant garde of the 1960's and mixed with the likes of Lucio Fontana, who was a strong influence and something of a mentor to the young artist.
Scheggi, born in Florence in 1940, died young at thirty-one. During his short life he made his mark, with a burst of creative activity in his twenties. Scheggi was indeed far-reaching and he engaged not only with the visual arts but also architecture, fashion, poetry and theatre. He painted fabrics for the high priestess of Italian fashion, Germana Marucelli, whose designs were inspired by classical and avant-garde art. Two of her dresses, painted by Scheggi, are on display at the Estorick and they are remarkable for how contemporary they remain.
Scheggi was concerned with space and the illusion of depth and this is apparent in the layering of canvasses and the “Inter-ena-cubes” of coloured cardboard. Aptly named “In Depth”, this collection also showcases his political motivations with the conceptual works of the early 1970's which incorporate symbolic-political messages. This is the first solo exhibition of Scheggi’s art in Britain and worth catching at one of London’s hidden gems, the Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art in leafy Canonbury close to Highbury Tube.
Top left: Curved Intersurface in Orange, 1969Intersuperficie curva dall’arancio; Maquette for the ‘Plastic Interchamber’,1966Maquette della ‘Intercamera plastica'; Reflected Zones, 1964Zone riflesse';
Bottom left: Inter-ena-cube, 1968Inter-ena-cubo; White CurvedIntersurface; Curved Intersurface, 1965Intersuperficie curva.
Exhibition runs from 3 July – 15 September 2019
Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art, 39a Canonbury Square, London N1 2AN
T: +44 (0)20 7704 9522