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Arte nucleare [It.: ‘nuclear art’].

Term applied to a style of Italian painting prevalent in the 1950s. The Movimento Nucleare was founded in 1951 by ENRICO BAJ and Sergio Dangelo (b 1931), with Gianni Bertini (b 1922), to promote a gestural, fantastical style of avant-garde art. In their first manifesto (1952) the artists introduced the idea of ‘nuclear painting’ and made it clear that they were striving for a relevant representation of post-War man and his precarious environment. Arte nucleare stood in opposition to the powers unleashed in the atomic age and expressed the general fear of imminent and uncontrollable damage from nuclear physics. The artists also reacted against the pictorial disciplines of De Stijl and all forms of geometric abstraction, pursuing instead the unpredictable effects of Surrealist automatism. This included gestural experiments similar to action painting and Tachism. Various Arte nucleare artists, including Gianni Dova, helped produce the magazine Phases in the mid-1950s. In 1955 Baj and other Arte nucleare artists joined the Mouvement International pour une Bauhaus Imaginiste (MIBI), founded by Asger Jorn. A further manifesto was released by the Arte nucleare artists in January 1959. This warned against the negative application of new technology and also found possibilities of a positive, aesthetic development from some aspects of atomic fission. Although a few Arte nucleare exhibitions were held, the movement did not gain the currency enjoyed by its rival, Art informel, and by the early 1960s had faded from the international arena.

 


Gianni Dova

 

 
 

 

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