Ca' Pesaro

Ca' Pesaro

BICE LAZZARI. Between space and dimension


Between space and dimension

Curated by Paola Ugolini

22 April – 23 October 2022

Venice, Ca’ Pesaro – International Gallery of Modern Art


The focus Bice Lazzari. Between space and dimension is a small but precious recognition of Bice Lazzari’s work, during the transition from the Informel to Abstract minimalism between late 1960s and the end of the 1970s.

Bice Lazzari (Venice 1900 – Rome 1981), an isolated and solitary figure, was born in a middle class family of entrepreneurs and architects. In 1926 she enrolled in the School of Fine Arts in Venice. She was forced to take classes in decorations and not in painting, since they were not considered appropriate for a young lady of good social standing because of life drawing classes.
From the second half of the 1920s, she worked as an artist in applied arts, at the time one of the only careers possible for a woman artist aiming to be financially independent. In this innovative field, always open to experimentation, she had the freedom to study and interpret ornaments and the non-figurative developments of modern decorative arts. Until the end of the 1930s, for Bice Lazzari abstraction was not yet a conscious intellectual and planned choice, aimed at breaking with tradition. It was, on the other side, the output, firmly on the avant-garde path, of the desire to furnish with a modern and functional style, classy but still decorative.

In 1935 Bice Lazzari moved to Rome, where she kept on fruitfully collaborating with the main architects and decorators of her time. Only after the war, in 1949, she started painting again and focused on detaching her production from the dynamics of buying and selling. Her works from the 1950s are some of the finest examples of Italian materic painting. From 1959 her painting became purely materic, through the use of new means such as glue, sand and mixed tempera. Between 1970 and 1971 Bice Lazzari started to work exclusively with acrylics, finding them more fluid and bright. The masterpieces from her last decade are the results of a search for abstraction started in the 1920s. The obsessive and ritmical marks on monochrome canvas strike a lyrical and original balance, albeit not losing simplicity. These mature paintings catch the viewer’s eye, stressing the relation between space, time and dimension through accentuated signs. 

The exhibition, realized with the scientific support of Bice Lazzari Archives, displays ten canvases and thirty drawings coming from Archivio Lazzari in Roma, private collections and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice.


In collaboration with Archivio Bice Lazzari 

Whit the support of Azimut


Image: Bice Lazzari, Superfici e segni n. 1, 1973-1974, Private collection