Carla Accardi: Triplice Tenda
May 20–September 3, 2001
P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center presents the first U.S. solo exhibition of the work of Italian artist Carla Accardi (b. 1924). A primary artist of the post-war period in Europe, Accardi contributed to the forging of a new Italian culture by creating a personal style of abstract painting, and co-founding the Forma 1 movement in 1947. Triplice Tenda (1969) is a full-size circular tent of clear plastic marked in patterns of pale-pink paint. This work, one of the first artist's tents, brings evocations of nomadism and domesticity into the realm of sculpture. The presentation of this work brings to the forefront one of the best-known older artists from the Italian post-war period, whose work continued to be influential through the 1960s.
Born in Sicily in 1924, Carla Accardi moved to Rome in 1945. In the late fifties, she exhibited in Paris and Turin. Her painting is joyful and colorful, focusing on organic growth and change. It is also strongly feminist in its investigation of the tent as a form in transition between the domestic sphere and the public sphere. Her first Tenda, made in 1965, is a small, homemade tent of clear plastic on which painted marks seem to float. It incorporates the audience both into its image and its physical space. The Tenda may be an important precedent to many works that focus on domesticity and place rather than on an abstract notion of space. It is also one of the primary early artworks that involve the idea that architecture and experience can be nomadic or provisional.
This exhibition is organized by P.S.1 Senior Curator Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev and is made possible through the generous support of the Dena Foundation, Paris, The Italian Consulate, NY, and The Italian Cultural Institute. Additional thanks to the Castello di Rivoli, Turin.