Mendes Wood DM presented Dadamaino’s frst solo exhibition in New York City. The show closes today.
Dadamaino (b. Emilia Maino, 1930 – 2004) was a protagonist of the post-war Milanese avant-garde. Though often perceived as a solitary character, she was also one of the most prominent women in major European art circles. Curated by Sofi Gotti, the exhibition gathers work from the series Volumes (1958-1960), Modular Out of Sync Volumes (1960-1961), and the iconic installation The Facts of Life (1977-1981), tracing how Dadamaino’s enquiry into Abstraction and Spatialism developed over the first two decades of her career. In addition, a selection of rare archival material loaned from the Archivio Opera Dadamaino helps us contextualize her practice within an ebullient cultural scene, also highlighting her active involvement in left-wing politics.
As a founding figure of Azimut/h – the gallery and publication created by Piero Manzoni,Enrico Castellani and Agostino Bonalumi — Dadamaino was remarkably active in avant-garde circuits especially during the 1960s and 1970s. She collaborated with groups at the forefront of Kinetic Art, Op, Cybernetics and Spatialism including the Italian Gruppo Punto and GruppoN, the Parisian GRAV, the German Zero and the Dutch Nul Group. She also coordinated the operations of the Zagreb-born NTrc (New Tendencies continuous research group) among a multitude of other initiatives, where she was often the only woman. Between 1968 and 1971 she engaged in militant political activism with independent anarchist groups in Milan, which drove her creativity and her interest in formulating a new aesthetic that would express the cultural and political climate of her time.