A sign splits the surface and, at the same time, determines it. His is a moved appearance, which does not exclude naturalistic references while not implying them
necessarily. Its presence determines a tension, an effort of the fibers of the canvas, an effort aimed at assuming shape, at becoming shape.
Briefly retracing the entire long itinerary of Agostino Bonalumi starting from that 1959, the "dazzling" year, as Marco Meneguzzo effectively writes, in which a new idea of art is full and almost unexpected, we can say that we never find, not even once, a surface that is enough in itself.As is well known, his intention and that of his closest traveling companions in that season of grace, that is Enrico Castellani and Piero Manzoni, is to go further, quickly beyond, towards a different form and a different position of art in the world. Starting precisely, in the case of Bonalumi, from that inevitable overcoming of representation and "subjectivity", that is, of the emotionality of doing, which collects sarcastic criticisms from many sides.
Bonalumi feels the need not to avoid the problem but to intervene on language from the inside, renewing it without undermining it.
No representation, of course: almost instantly the monochrome and the achrome (etymologically understood as non-color), are things given, acquired
for Bonalumi and his companions, as for the various artists who inhabited the scene of those years, the T Group, Enne, Zero, as well as some less easily
classifiable (from Uncini to Dorazio). The painting does not contain, it does not show anything beyond itself: and it is articulated beyond the two dimensions almost
by internal thrust, by extroversion, as opposed to what Lucio Fontana had done a few years earlier with holes. The artist insisted a lot, and with him his critics, starting with Luca Massimo Barbero, on the need to read and interpret his works on the basis of their inherent, intrinsic dialectic; dialectic. The imperfect balance, between geometric rigor and deviation from the same geometric norm that inspired the first, extraordinary, cycles of the Sixties; the dialectic between the interest in almost optical formal solutions and the rigor with which the objectification of the work is pursued, regardless of any search for effect; In other words: the surface, activated by internal thrusts, gives a glimpse of something that could be, and thus transforms itself into the "outside" of a possible "inside", an elastic container of pure potential .
For the Lombard artist, however, the environments never become a primary or, even less, exclusive interest, but remain complementary to the creation of reliefs and object-works: Blue, Gray, Red ... the titles flow over the years one after the other. other, invariably chosen in the simplest and least personalistic way, that is on the basis of the color of the work: an aspect that will always continue to be of fundamental importance for Bonalumi, not only in the works on the wall but in the sculptures and three-dimensional objects, often colored with bright and enamelled industrial paints. In all of Agostino Bonalumi's work it can be said that this curved, constructive line of organic ancestry constitutes almost an uninterrupted trait d'union that excludes any solution of continuity, despite the long "pause "Between the seventies and eighties, determined instead by the concentration on the rhythmic element given by the repetition of parallel rectilinear segments, almost like staves of shadow and light is. In short, a
set of slow and harmonious conceptual and physical movements from one object to another, from one boundary to another, from one space-form to another, articulated in
time as a continuum of enviable compactness: in which today one of the most significant contributions made to current visual languages is to be recognized
from that very fertile generation: from the dazzling 1959 to today.