Press Release


Leondardi Leoncillo, Alberto Burri
The ADAA: The Art Show. Booth D26
March 2 – 6, 2016




CRG Gallery is pleased to present works by Leonardi Leoncillo (1915-1968) and by Alberto Burri (1915-1995) two artists seminal to the development of Post-War Italian art at the Art Dealers Association of America Fair at the Park Avenue Armory, March 2 – 6, 2016.

Born in Umbria in 1915 both Burri and Leoncillo began working in Rome in the late 1930s when artistic discussions centered on a dialog between the Baroque with its figural exuberance and Modernism with its often rigorous formalism and frequent lack of recognizable subjects.

Sharing a concern with non traditional materials, surface, and process, both Burri and Leoncillo, created work with an intense physical immediacy that remains never the less stubbornly abstract. While both artists emphasized the materiality of their work, they often treated it as a metaphor or means for understanding spiritual and existential realities. At first glance, Burri’s raw burlap or plastics and Leoncillo’s cracked and pulsating ceramics look like wounded biological organisms. Leoncillo’s Mutilazione (Mutilation) resembles fragments of destroyed structures while the cracked surfaces of his San Sebastiano (Saint Sebastian) series suggest the traditional subject of the tortured saint. Beyond such references (and thematic citations of Baroque iconography) Leoncillo regarded his medium– clay – as a metaphor for life. He understood his interaction with it as a spiritual, indeed existential, challenge.

In addition, the connection between craftsmanship and art was crucial for both artists and contemporary critics understood their work as blurring the line between “handiwork” and high art and between painting and sculpture. Thus the palettes they employed and their sensitivity to contrasting colors and the interplay between reflective and opaque tones show a level of care for material and beauty that seems exactly the opposite of the sense of violence conveyed by the treatment of the surface.

Leoncillo’s works convey a sense of dynamic matter molding itself in front of the viewer’s eyes and keep the traces of a hidden and mysterious process of creation that is the essential feature of his alchemical practice. Handicraft becomes art, reality becomes abstraction, shape becomes matter, and surface becomes space in an endless shifting between painting and sculpture, sophisticated tradition and stunning modernity.

This exhibition was made in collaboration with Joshua Mack, Galleria Matteo Lampertico, Milan / M&L Fine Art, London and Galleria d’Arte Maggiore G.A.M., Bologna. The exhibition will travel to M&L Fine Art, London in October 2016.

image: Leonardi Leoncillo, Senza titolo (Untitled), 1959

This exhibition was featured as the Best 5 booths at the ADAA art show by Blouin Art Info:

Location and Hours
CRG Gallery, Booth D26
Park Avenue Armory, New York
Park Avenue at 67th Street
Wednesday- Friday: 12 to 8pm
Saturday: 12 to 7pm
Sunday: 12 to 5pm

for more information contact Dina Bizri at 212 229 2766 or