Professor Versari Speaks at International Congress ‘Abstract Synthesis’

Posted on October 13, 2021

Professor Maria Elena Versari will give a talk at the two-day international congress “Abstract Synthesis,” taking place October 13 and 14. Her talk will be devoted to the battle for abstract art in the 1930s journal Quadrante, its Italian and international connections, its alliance with Rationalist architecture, and the role that it played in the development of modern art, design and cinema in Italy in the subsequent decades.

The symposium “Abstract Synthesis. Expansion and Echoes of Italian Abstract Art, 1930-1960,” organized by CRA.IT (Research Center on Italian Abstract Art), is meant as an occasion to address several topics related to the crosscutting nature of abstract art. The title “Abstract Synthesis” refers to the ways in which the use and the interpretation of abstract language have been instrumental to the creation of deep connections among different practices and media, thus providing a reason for their theoretical redefinition. Hopefully, such occasion will prompt further debate on methodology, as well as on the functions, expressions and processes of abstract art. The choice of the historical timeframe for the symposium is based on the peculiar characters of Italian abstraction from the 1930s to its developments in the 1950s. The debate will initially focus on the role abstraction – since its inception – had in the field of the visual arts, in order to explore how its importance might have influenced the renewal of other practices, such as architecture and design.

Through a mainly historical approach, the symposium will serve two different purposes: on the one hand, it will explore how abstraction worked as a connecting trait among several fields of research: schools, movements, groups, definitions, and international influence. On the other hand, it will analyze specific materials, media or processes, showing how abstract art oriented ideas and changes, technical innovations, as well as the research on materials and technology. Since its beginnings, abstract art facilitated a fruitful exchange among media, thus allowing specific phenomena, belonging to specific forms of expression, to have relevant repercussions on other fields, from architecture to design, from music to photography, from film to video-art.