Antonio Calderara

Abbiategrasso, Italy, 1903 - Vacciago, Ameno, Italy, 1978

"Antonio Calderara died in 1978. After teaching himself to paint, he lived his life in Milan and at Lake Orta. He seldom traveled elsewhere, though he moved a few times to improve the conditions for his work. A sort of arduously achieved independence, the “room of one’s own” often evoked as an indispensable, necessary condition.

Calderara’s paintings are abstract or, more precisely, they have been so since 1958, the year of his decisive shift towards abstraction, a conversion like few others in the Italian 20th century due to its modes, timing and resolve. «In 1958, with the drawing of my mother – Calderara narrates in a long autobiographical piece – I drew my last curved line».

The simple, essential abstraction of Calderara is an evolution – but in a more lyrical, more ir- reducibly human key – of the abstract/concrete painting of the 20th century, a certain mo- dernist output (Mondrian and Albers, above all others). What exactly goes into this lyricism of Calderara? It is composed of the formats, the material thickness of the small panels. The thin, invisible lines, never too definite or assertive. Their tremors and uncertainties. The sub- dued, delicately impure tones, porous and permeable to their neighbors. The relationships of force (between areas, color fields, etc) that are always potentially swappable, like equiva- lent possibilities. A atmospheric, landscape-like quality always present in the paintings: like a dense mist laden with light, blurring contours and relationships between things."


Davide Ferri, Roma, 2013

Gallery exhibitions

Selected works

Antonio Calderara, Spazio Luce, 1974, watercolor on paper, cm.16x15,5
Antonio Calderara, Untitled, 1972, watercolour on paper, cm.15,5x10,5
Antonio Calderara, Untitled, 1972, watercolor on paper, cm.16,5x15
Antonio Calderara, Untitled, 1968, watercolor on paper, cm. 20x18,8
Antonio Calderara, Untitled, 1968, watercolor on paper, cm.14,5x15
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