© for the work depicted, to the artists, his heirs and successors in title

Untitled, 1955

Tancredi Parmeggiani (1927–1964, ITA)

Medium: Pastel, Carbon and Oil on Canvas
Dimensions: 180 x 200 cm

about the work

Tancredi is one of the most important Italian artists of the post-war period featured in the Reinhard Ernst Collection. After beginning his art studies in Venice in 1946, he had his first solo exhibition at the Galleria Sandri in Venice as early as 1949. Tancredi’s art is distinguished by his combination of abstraction, spaciousness, light and color. The idea that painting should abandon the two-dimensional aspect of the painted surface was shared by several artists not only in Italy in the 1950s, which gave rise to the Spazialismo movement with Lucio Fontana as its spokesman. Tancredi was just as much a part of this movement as well as a contributor to various groups of Italian artists. Firmly established in the Venetian art scene, artists such as Emilio Vedova and patron Peggy Guggenheim were among his close acquaintances. Tancredi took up a special position there, as Guggenheim promoted and represented him in a fashion similar to how she had only for Jackson Pollock’s works until then. The young Italian was provided with his own studio in her palazzo and at the same time became acquainted with her extensive art collection, from which the artist gained inspiration. His works from the 1950s clearly reflect a debate with Jackson Pollock and the French Informel movement. Nonetheless, these works should also be understood as a highly individual Italian response to the European and American art scene. Tancredi tackled approaches and issues of abstraction that were popular in Europe and America at the time, but introduced his entirely individual poetry as well as colors and shapes. At various stages of his work and in groups the artist explored his artistic themes. He found the most appropriate representation of an abstract space in the dot, which as well as broad transparent brushstrokes are considered distinguishing features of Tancredi’s works. The example from the Reinhard Ernst collection shows these features precisely – broad black and white brushstrokes are placed on a turbulent blue-green background and thus produce a pronounced spatial effect. In addition to numerous solo exhibitions, his inclusion in the »Tendances actuelles 3« exhibition at the Kunsthalle Bern in 1955 with Georges Mathieu, Jackson Pollock and Camille Bryen are worth mentioning, but also his repeated participation in the Biennale in Venice in 1953 and 1964. The same year, Tancredi committed suicide. His complete works have been honored in extensive retrospectives, such as the recent Peggy Guggenheim Collection in 2016.

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