“Even though I live in a brume city, I believe my art to be Mediterranean. Of course, I’m a son of the West, but I believe an openness to Eastern thought is necessary, from Schopenhauer on, also to better understand ourselves and reflect upon the countless errors made in the history of the Western world. I believe that the indeterminacy of the signs, the same but unfinished, the call to totality, of impersonality or rather, the non-identity of signs in my work, are all possible connections with the Eastern thought.”
Donated by the artist. Acrylic on canvas, 2016, 140 × 93 cm. Photography © Giulio Caresio.
Born in Turin, 1936, where he lives and works.
Driven by a strong passion for painting nurtured ever since childhood, Giorgio Griffa graduated in Law in 1958 and began to work as a lawyer. In 1960 he felt the need for a new kind of apprenticeship, and enrolled in the private school of the Turinese abstract painter Filippo Scroppo, developing a strictly figurative experience. Over the years to come, Griffa would proceed towards a progressive and systematic subtraction of representative elements, yet without going down the path of abstractionism, until he reached his first totally unrepresentative works. Between 1967 and 1968, the artist laid the foundations for his own pictorial language, developing a working method that still typifies his artistic practice to this day, in which large frameless canvases in coarse fabrics (jute, hemp, cotton and linen) are marked by paths of slender lines and coloured rods drawn vertically, horizontally or diagonally in keeping with the nature of the non-finito, using brushes or sponges. As the artist stated in 1972: “I don’t represent anything, I paint.”