Artist Spotlight: Roberto Crippa
Aligned with the generation of artists who followed closely behind or alongside the Cubist, the Futurist, and the Abstract Expressionist movements, Milan-born painter and sculptor, Roberto Crippa (1921-1972), lived during a time of transition and experimentation. While his early work tended towards geometric abstraction, Crippa soon joined a new movement, Spazialismo (or “Spatialism”) alongside fellow artists including Lucio Fontana, Cesare Peverelli, Gianni Dova, and Enrico Donati.
In 1947, Crippa and his compatriots issued the first of many manifestos of their movement that outlined the ideals of an art that incorporated ideas of science and technology. “We have renounced the practice of familiar art forms and are working to develop an kind of art based on the unity of time and space..We think of art as a sum of physical elements: color, sound, movement, time, and space, brought together in a physical and mental whole. Color, an element of space; sound, an element of time; and movement, unfolding in space in time. These are the foundations of Spatialist art.”
Crippa’s Spirail (1951-52) is a prime example of his gestural spiral paintings, which he made largely between 1949 and 1953. Like his fellow Spatialist painter, Lucio Fontana, Crippa championed compositions that pushed the picture plane outside the flatness of the two-dimensional canvas to create new spaces. Crippa’s Spirali paintings seem to protrude from the flatness of the canvas, thus creating a new dimension, and perhaps peering into the atomic level that was just entering the public imagination.
Oil on canvas
Signed and dated on wooden canvas stretcher verso; retains unknown label verso
Roberto Crippa archive identification no. 1199
Together with letter of expertise from Gimmi Stefanini, editor of the Roberto Crippa catalogue raisonné
Canvas: 35.25″ x 39.375″; Frame: 35.75″ x 39.875″; (Canvas: 90 x 100 cm)
June 10, 2018 Modern Art & Design Auction