From 12 Nov 2016 to 13 Mar 2017
Peggy Guggenheim Collection

Tancredi. a retrospective



My weapon against Atomic is a blade of grass.
Tancredi. a retrospective

Curated by Luca Massimo Barbero

Tancred, with his painting, creates a new philosophy poetry for those who have neither telescopes nor rockets as lucky we who have such crystallization from healthy and sound transport us, to other worlds. (Peggy Guggenheim)

Tancredi in Venice, 1955-56
With over ninety works, it's a wait retrospective that enshrines the big return to Venice Tancredi Parmeggiani (Feltre 1927 - Rome 1964), among the most original interpreters and intense of the Italian art scene of the second half of the twentieth century. Tancredi was the only artist, after Jackson Pollock, whom Peggy Guggenheim holds a contract, promoting their work, making it known to the great museums and overseas collectors and organizing several exhibitions, like the one of 1954 right at the Palazzo Venier dei lions. After more than sixty years, therefore, the artist returned undisputed star at the Guggenheim Collection with an extraordinary selection of works, which reconstruct in an intimate and extensive, including creative production and emotion bursting, the short parable, but dazzling, this great performer art after World war II.

With rare juvenile trials of portraits and self-portraits and the first experiments on paper of 1950-51, the exhibition documents, in its first part, the purely abstract research, linked to the fragmentation of the sign, by the turn over of Feltre 50s, a period which marks the crucial encounter with Peggy, where he became protégé, and that leads him to have his own studio in the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni. This significant link is documented by the large number of works on display, belonging to the Venetian museum. The exhibition also represents the return to Italy of a precious selection of works donated by the patron to some famous American museums: for the first time, by Peggy times, are exhibited masterpieces like Spring, from the MoMA in New York and Space, water, Nature, Entertainment, today at the Brooklyn Museum. The major retrospective does not fail to document the artistic production of the 60s, the time of crisis and complete review of its painting, to which Tancredi wants to give an existential and political sense. And so the vein of the controversy and of those years of Cold War tension emerge in the title of the exhibition "My weapon against Atomic is a blade of grass", a phrase with which Tancredi responds to the innumerable conflicts of the time, from Vietnam to the war in Algeria, the tension between the US and Soviet Union. This pivotal moment in his artistic career, are exhibited three paintings of Hiroshima series (1962). The concluding part of the exhibition is dedicated to the collage-paintings, executed between 1962 and 1963, the so-called diaries villagers and flowers painted by me and others at 101%, which can rightly be called the real revelation of this retrospective which they are to be considered examples of great creative and dramatic force euphoria. These works to close the extraordinary path, brilliant and unruly, the Tancredi painting dedicated to nature and to man. Tancred died in 1964 at only 37 years old, very young and ready to go, writes Dino Buzzati, in "Tancredi" myth.


The exhibition will be accompanied by a wide publication, published by Marsilio Editori in two Italian and English editions. With essays by the curator Luca Massimo Barbero, Luca Nicoletti, the biography of the artist by Elena Forin, and an extensive selection of images, the catalog is an important witness for the reconstruction of donations of works of Tancredi by Peggy Guggenheim to American museums, achieved thanks to research by Gražina Subelytė.

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Informazioni aggiuntive

Peggy Guggenheim Museum Shop:
tel: 041.2405.422 / 432; fax: 041.520.6885; e-mail:

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