Piero Manzoni
Achrome 1958

Artwork details

Piero Manzoni 1933–1963
Date 1958
Medium China-clay on canvas
Dimensions Unconfirmed: 1003 x 1003 mm
frame: 1163 x 1165 x 68 mm
Acquisition Purchased 1974
Not on display

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Like a number of his contemporaries, Manzoni wanted to banish narrative content from painting. For Manzoni, this meant removing even colour from his works. In 1957, he began to produce the achromes, which he described as ‘a single uninterrupted and continuous surface from which anything superfluous and all interpretative possibilities are excluded.’ He began by soaking his canvases in kaolin, a soft china clay used in making porcelain. The kaolin eliminated colour to the point of his desired ‘nothingness’. The weight of the material caused it to sag, creating folds across the surface of the canvas.

July 2008

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