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Carla Accardi (1924-2014) was a prominent female figure in 20th-century Italian art. As a feminist and abstractionist, Accardi chose to work with forms that defied easy interpretation. Her paintings challenge preconceptions such as the association of women with delicacy and painting with compositional beauty. Her art is characterized by linguistic comparisons, balancing rigorous compositions with emotionally charged colors. Accardi fearlessly and experimentally expressed herself at a time when painting was predominantly considered a male domain.

Born in Trapani, Italy, in 1924, Accardi studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence before relocating to Rome in 1946. It was in the Italian capital that she met a group of like-minded artists, including Pietro Consagra and her future husband Antonio Sanfilippo, with whom she founded Forma I. This collective sought to align their Marxist political beliefs with a formalist approach to abstraction.

Accardi’s influence extended beyond her involvement with Forma I. Her artistic legacy made a lasting impact on the Italian art scene.

Carla Accardi passed away on February 23, 2014, in Rome, Italy. Her artistic philosophy can be best captured in her own words: “Rise to the challenge[…] the coexistence of the anthropological and the abstract worlds. Something similar is true also of the support: certain paintings are not painted in their entirety while others are saturated with color all over. Likewise, the sign is at times freer, less controlled, and at others more clearly delineated in its form. Besides, my painting cannot come to a halt on a given problem, presenting it and defining it once and for all. I like to circle around the problem, observing the different and possible solutions to it; I like to be coherent but at the same time to be able to change.” (Carla Accardi in a conversation with Walter Gudagnini, 1989).