Farewell to Achille Perilli, master of abstract art

Saturday 23 October in Orvieto it will be possible to say goodbye to Achille Perilli, a man with a lucid and geometric intelligence and founder in 1947 of form 1, the first Italian abstract group. To sign the manifesto with him too Carla Accardi, Ugo Attardi, Pietro Consagra, Piero Dorazio, Mino Guerrini, Antonio Sanfilippo and Giulio Turcato, met by attending Guttuso's studio.


The Forma 1 Group declared theautonomy of form, sign and color as opposed to the realistic and symbolist figurations that dominated the artistic language in the war period and in the immediately following one. In this period the Roman School dominates in Rome, imposed by the Communist Party, and which has as its progenitor Renato Guttuso with whom at a certain point the fracture will become irremediable. 

In October of the same year, the group created its first exhibition held in the Galleria Art Club a Roma.

From this period onwards, trips to Paris and other European capitals began which put Perilli in contact with the greatest exponents of the Surrealism before andAbstractionism European then. The frequentation and knowledge of their works led him towards a pictorial liberation that allowed him the perfect transposition of the form in pure sign.

In 1948 he collaborated with Sottsass jr. to the organization of the first abstract art exhibition in Italy held in March at the Rome Gallery

In 1949 it joined the MAC (Movement for concrete art).

In 1950 he founded, with Dorazio and Guerrini, the “Golden Age” Bookstore-Gallery where an intense activity of exhibitions, conferences and debates takes place. The following year in collaboration with the Art Club Gallery, organizes the exhibition of Abstract and concrete art in Italy held in February at the National Gallery of Modern Art. In these years his painting becomes abstract and concrete at the same time. Perilli's sign, defined by the artist 'neurotic sign of the irrational', traces and describes thetotal union between the painting, man and life.

From 1956 is prima solo show at the Strozzina of Florence, while in 1958 the first participation with three works at the Venice Biennale where he will return in 1962 and 1968 with a personal room.


In 1966 he started working with engraving technique with which, over the years, he will create a series of works, mostly printed by Renzo Romero.

Between the end of the 1960s and the beginning of the 1970s, Perilli's work became increasingly refined, solid, two-dimensional and severely controlled in free but perfectly defined definition. perspective of the geometric planes.

Since 1971 there have been personal exhibitions in Italy and abroad: at the Marlborough Gallery in Rome; at the Space Gallery in Amsterdam; at the Frankfurter Westend Galerie in Frankfurt; at the Jacques Baruch Gallery di Chicago with only graphic works. In the same year he writes the Poster of the Insane Image in Imaginary Space.

His painting from the 70s reveals the experience of complete synthesis between imagination and rationality, the sign never loses its value as a hinge and tool, but creates increasingly complex geometric grids and structures capable of hosting the freedom and emotion of the purest color.

In the eighties he took part in the creation of Retina, artists' magazine, where he publishes the manifesto Geometric irrational theory. In 1984 he exhibited in a retrospective exhibition of the years 1969/1984 at Paris Art Center in Paris by title Achille Perilli. The geometric irrational.

In the 90s and even more since the early 2000s, Perilli's attention is focused on colors. In the works of the last period it is possible to notice how the color seems to deconstruct the form itself, manifesting a new evolution of his pictorial research.

Achille Perilli passed away on Saturday 16 October at the age of 94 at the Santa Maria della Stella hospital in Orvieto.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.