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Lee Lozano’s First Survey In Italy: ‘Seek the Extremes’

Tsuktiben Jamir

Born in Newark, New Jersey, American artist Lee Lozano (1930–1999) produced innovative and challenging works that are still relatively undiscovered, particularly in Europe. Lozano was a member of the New York avant-garde art scene in the thick of the 1960s. She produced a strong and distinctive body of work on the cusp of minimalism and conceptual art in a world that was entirely male-dominated. She is not the typical conventional artist we hear about every day; for one of her artistic projects, Lee Lozano refused to speak to women, which actually started off as a temporary project but continued until her death (BOYCOTT WOMEN, 1971), and in other instances she also used marijuana as an artistic medium (GRASS PIECE, 1969).

‘Strike’ a solo exhibition will be shown at the Pinacoteca Agnelli in Italy as a dedication to the late artist who died at the age of 68 in 1999 as a result of cervical cancer. This exhibition, which features Lozano’s first survey in Italy, will run from 8 March 2023 until 23 July 2023. From September 20th, 2023, to February 12th, 2024, the exhibition will then go to the Bourse de Commerce – Pinault Collection in Paris.

View of Lee Lozano’s ‘Strike’ in Pinacoteca Agnelli, 2023
Courtesy: e-flux Agenda

Curated by Sarah Cosulich and Lucrezia Calabr Visconti, this is the most recent step in the artist’s posthumous rise to fame. The exhibition ‘Strike’ brings together a wide range of the artist’s works, spanning her brief but extraordinary career from 1960 to 1972. The show is in line with the organization’s newly reaffirmed modern aim to present hitherto unheard creative perspectives in relation to the historical and symbolic heritage of the exhibition location and its industrial background.

The retrospective examines the different stages of Lozano’s career and is divided into seven rooms. With her large range of work, ‘Strike’ will give a coherent narrative that starts with Lozano’s figurative expressionist drawings and paintings, moves to the ‘Tools’ series of large-scale oil paintings, and then follows the formal development of those works into minimalist abstraction. The show will also feature a number of the artist’s ‘Language Pieces’, which signal her move to an exclusively conceptual phase and were eventually abandoned by the artist with ‘Dropout Piece’ in 1972.

‘Notebook 8’, 1970, by Lee Lozano installation view, at Pinacoteca Agnelli Torino.
Courtesy: ARTnews

According to Pinacoteca Agnelli, “The two shows will be a major opportunity to bring to attention the work of a revolutionary artist esteemed by critics but less known by the general public, especially in Europe. Both exhibitions will culminate in a publication developed in collaboration by the two institutions and published in English, Italian and French, offering an in-depth investigation into the artist’s work.”

Lee Lozano had her training in painting in Chicago before relocating to New York, where she quickly gained notoriety in the 1960s art scene. There, she developed a diverse body of work that combined painting with a highly conceptual approach. She took part in the pop art, minimalism, and conceptual art-dominated social and creative atmosphere of the period while retaining a radical outlook and opposing any kind of categorization and institutional control.


Exhibition Dates:

March 8–July 23, 2023

Exhibition Venue:

Pinacoteca Agnelli

Via Nizza, 230

10126 Turin, Italy

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