For a variety of reasons, Carla Accardi (Trapani, 1924 – Rome, 2014) is one of the most significant figures in 20th-century art. After World War II, she contributed to establishing non-figurative art in Italy by co-founding the Forma 1 abstract group in 1947 – the only woman in an entirely male cohort. In the 1950s she focused on signs, becoming one of the protagonists of Michel Tapié’s art autre. In the following decade she began to use sicofoil, a new transparent plastic material, and abandoned tempera in favour of coloured and fluorescent paints, opening up her work to optical and environmental effects.
During the 1970s she became committed to social activities and feminism: in 1970 she was one of the founders of Rivolta Femminile (Female Revolt) alongside Carla Lonzi and Elvira Banotti. At the start of the new millennium she showed a renewed interest in painting, constantly developing her own visual language, composed of signs and chromatic juxtapositions. Museo Correr’s initiative marks Accardi’s 100-year anniversary. Although she lived in Rome, Accardi maintained a personal and professional link with Venice throughout her life. In 1948 she made her debut at the Biennale, returning in 1964 with her own room and an introduction in the catalogue by Carla Lonzi. She returned in 1976, 1988 (own room) and 1993, and her work was shown posthumously in 2022. Works, photos and other documentary material confirm her relationship with Venice, including a photo from 1952, during the time of her show at Galleria del Cavallino, when she visited the Guggenheim collection with her husband, the artist Antonio Sanfilippo, and Tancredi Parmeggiani.
Curated by Pier Paolo Pancotto, the Venice project is an homage rather than a retrospective exhibition. The limited selection of work is arranged in the form of an installation that interacts with the museum’s historical rooms. Despite their singularity, these rarely seen works fully represent her artistic research and, in their own way, summarise her creative journey.