Tancredi (Tancredi Parmeggiani)
Where Piet Mondrian used the square as a unit with which to express a notion of space and infinity, Tancredi, who saw his aims as parallel to those of Mondrian, seized on the point as his module. He was intrigued by the point’s identity as the determinant sign of location, the smallest indication of presence. Tancredi’s ideas about infinite space and the use of the point within it were developed by 1951, when he settled in Venice. This work typifies the crowded, architectonic compositions he painted before his visit to Paris in 1955.
Incomplete circles vibrant with undiluted pigment radiate from pivotal points and swirl throughout the canvas. These appear below, above, and amid rectangular slabs, the whole comprising a multilayered scaffolding of light and color producing the illusion of extensive, textured depth. Density of form and color increases toward the center of the composition, which consequently appears to bulge forward from the corners, illustrating Tancredi’s view of space as curved. The vitality of execution and tactile richness reflect the influence of Jackson Pollock. The choppy, animated repetition of color applied with a palette knife resembles that of the French-Canadian painter Jean-Paul Riopelle, with whom Tancredi exhibited in 1954.