Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

The Polítics of abstract art: Forma 1 and the Italian Communist Party, 1947-1951

Juan Gómez Gutiérrez


This paper discusses the role of the Forma 1 group of abstract artists within the cultural politics of the Italian Communist Party during the Post-war period, as an example of the attempts carried out in Italy to overcome the established dichotomy between abstract and socialist realist art, and produce an alternative to conflicting post-war aesthetic discourses. Socialist realist artists stressed the need for unambiguous political contents and easy readability. In turn, the Forma 1 artists argued that abstract art meant a critique of pictorial representation that could contribute to a critique of bourgeois ideology, harmonising Marxism with advanced technical developments in the field of art. The PCI, for its part, pursued a policy of wide alliances of anti-fascist artists and intellectuals,
which was increasingly difficult to hold in the climate of growing political and cultural confrontation in Italy that followed the War

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