Giorgio Griffa ( Italian, 1936 )

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General Description

The title Spugna, or “sponge,” suggests how this painting was made. Each cell was created by pressing an acrylic-laden sponge firmly against the canvas surface. Giorgio Griffa, who never received a formal art education, creates paintings composed of simple colored patterns that are sensitively articulated on plain spacious backgrounds. In his use of repetitive gestures on unstretched canvas and linen, he conveys a sense of meditative concentration and harmony. When a work is complete, it is carefully folded and stored until it is ready to be displayed, whereupon it is simply pinned on the wall in a relaxed and elegant man­ner. His work is directly linked to the Arte Povera move­ment in 1960s Italy, which employed everyday materials to make objects that were richly evocative in meaning.

Excerpt from

  • Anna Katherine Brodbeck, ed., TWO X TWO X TWENTY: Two Decades Supporting Contemporary Art at the Dallas Museum of Art (Dallas: Dallas Museum of Art), 2018, 228-229.

Web Resources

  • Camden Arts Centre
    Learn more about Giorgio Griffa's career and the recent retrospective A Continuous Becoming. Also check out the playlist Griffa created to accompany the exhibition.