Antonio Scaccabarozzi


Antonio Scaccabarozzi


Antonio Scaccabarozzi was born in 1936 in Merate (Lecco-Italy). From 1951 in Milan, he attended the evening classes of the High School of Applied Art of Castello Sforzesco, in the Painting section. Involved in the Milanese cultural environment of those years, Scaccabarozzi frequented the Brera district where he met artists such as Carlo Carrà, Piero Manzoni and Lucio Fontana. Graduated in 1959, he moved to Paris, where he worked as a sceneries-painter and deepened the artistic languages of time and historical avant-gardes. The works by Scaccabarozzi of those years are clearly influenced by Hans Arp and Fernand Léger. After Paris are the stays in London, and two long trips to Holland and Spain. Since the mid-1960s, Scaccabarozzi redefined his works following the concrete, programmed and new abstract avant-gardes, defining his visual language as Equilibrio Statico-Dinamico [Static-Dynamic Equilibrium], with clear reference to Neoplasticism and European Cinetism. Back to Italy, in Milan, he moved for a short time to the “Botteghe di Sesto San Giovanni” [Sesto San Giovanni’s Workshop Quarter], where he met artists such as Castellani, Bonalumi, Vermi, De Filippi, Fabro and Nagasawa.  In the early seventies came the Fustellati, formed by a succession of cylindrical elements, obtained by working with a hollow cutter and practicing on the neutral support emerging or hollow modular elements of different and gradual size and extension. In the North-European area, Scaccabarozzi finds his ideal place for research.  In these early seventies also came the elaboration of a new cycle of work, entitled Prevalenze Prevalences]: the neutral support is animated by points that are first monochrome, then colored, placed on the canvas or table in an order resulting from an exact, mathematical calculation. In 1983 the artist began a new phase, conceptually starting from the idea that spreading a quantity of color is already painting, and thus freeing himself from the calculations and any obvious and obliged form of a predetermined scheme. These are Quantità libere [Free Quantities]. The Free Quantities brought Scaccabarozzi to experiment and choose a new material: the polyethylene sheet. The painting, lying on a transparent surface, stimulated Scaccabarozzi to reflecting on color as an isolated element. By combining this with glue, the artist created an amalgam which, when dried, made the color as autonomous, self-supporting element: if the Free Quantities are the body of painting, the “Essenziali” [Essentials] - so the artist names this cycle of work that started with the new decade of 1990s - become the “skeleton” of the painting. To his thirty years old research, have already been dedicated the first anthological exhibitions, still in the German area: from the “Retro-spective 1965-1993”, at the Galerie Hoffmann in Friedburg in 1993, to the Städtische Galerie “Villa Zanders” in Bergisch Gladbach in 1994. In the late 1990s, Scaccabarozzi returned to what had been the support of its Free Quantities: the polyethylene. Gradually, the polyethylene sheets become fluctuating chromatic membranes in space, suspended from the wall and ceiling by the nylon wire. Since 2002, “Ekleipsis (Polyethylene)” have been developed, consisting of two plastic sheets of different color. In 2003, Scaccabarozzi arrives at the “Banchise (Polyethylene)”: this is another variation on the polyethylene, as here the reflection is between the most exposed and highlighted sheet as dimension of painting, and the hidden one. Around 2005, the artist felt the need to go back to painting: he painted thin, oil-colored veils, on a base of colour on canvas or paperboard, to create a film absorbing and diffusing the atmosphere light. These were the Velature [Veilings]. An accident interrupted Antonio Scaccabarozzi's life in August 2008. His heritage has fully taken up by Anastasia Rouchota, who founded the “Antonio Scaccabarozzi Archive”. Fundamental is the monograph dedicated to the artist, edited by Flaminio Gualdoni and published by Corraini in 2016 in Italian, English and German, “Antonio Scaccabarozzi. Io sono pittore / I'm painter / Ich bin Mahler”. From 2017 Ilaria Bignotti is working as Special Project Manager, with the Archive’s professionals already involved in this project. The Catalogue raisonné of Antonio Scaccabarozzi is another goal of the Archive that is scheduled for the next years. 


Scaccabarozzi, Antonio

Collection Items

Rotazione continua orizzontale
The project consists of an environmental intervention proposed by the artist for the facade of the Merate School of Maternity at the “Concorso Legge del 2% Scuola Materna (ente morale) di Merate” [Competition of the 2% Law for Merate nursery School],…

Ambiguità dell’angolo
Five projects of environmental intervention in a interior space, formed by two walls ending in a corner and a floor, named from A to E.The first one, A, is dated 1978 and accompanied by the autograph and handwritten note of the artist: “Ambiguità…
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