Carla Accardi (1924 - 2014) is one of the most important exponents of abstract painting in Italy after World War II. Born on October 9, 1924, in Trapani, she studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence before moving to Rome in 1946, where she founded the influential postwar group Form 1 (1947–51), the main reference for abstract art in Italy in the ‘40s and ‘50s.
Her early paintings consisted of interlocking geometric forms. In the 1950s, Accardi was involved in the wide-reaching attempts to revolutionize abstraction through the hybridization of geometric and gestural painting, both in Italy and in France, where art critic Michel Tapié took an interest in her work. In 1953 Accardi began to introduce pseudo-calligraphic signs into abstract images, while reducing her palette to white-on-black compositions to explore the relationship between fi gure and ground.
In the 1960s, however, there is a rejuvenation of color in her works with references to the metropolitan culture and optical effects. Accardi’s artistic research was characterized by a continuous experimentation radicalized with the use of transparent plastic supports that accentuate the nature of the painting as a luminous diaphragm. In 1961 indeed, she began painting on sicofoil, a transparent plastic, instead of canvas. She showcased these new strategies at the 1964 Venice Biennale. By the mid-1960s, she was using these new materials sculpturally. This phase of Accardi’s oeuvre, which was celebrated in the Ambiente/Arte section of the 1976 Venice Biennale, would prove infl uential for Arte Povera. In the 1980s she returned to canvas and shift ed her focus to the use of signs and chromatic juxtapositions. In 1988 she participated again at the Venice Biennale, while in 1994 she took part to Th e Italian Metamorphosis 1943–1968, held at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, in 1994.
Her work is part of many important collections, including the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna in Rome, the Museo d’Arte Contemporanea of Castello di Rivoli (Turin), the Gallerie Civiche of Modena and Bologna, the Palazzo Reale in Milan, and the Museo Civico in Turin. Th e artist died in Rome on February 23, 2014.