The Leo Castelli Gallery in Metro magazine : American approaches to post-abstract figuration in an Italian context
McKetta, Dorothy Jean
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Between the years 1960 and 1970, New York gallerist Leo Castelli was closely involved with Milanese editor and publisher Bruno Alfieri's Metro magazine--an international review of contemporary art. By placing his artists in Metro, Castelli inserted them into the world of Italian art criticism and theory. This recontextualization familiarized the American artists of Castelli's gallery to a European audience and positioned them at the end of a succession of modern European styles. Specifically, Castelli's artists, each of whom engaged in a form of pictorial figuration, were seen as ending the dominance of the "pure" abstraction of the French informel style. This thesis uses the archive of correspondence between Bruno Alfieri and Leo Castelli to examine Castelli's contribution to Metro during the 1960s. Departing from this chronology, it also seeks to understand the unique brand of figuration that each of Castelli's artists brought to Metro, given cues from contemporary Italian theory and criticism--particularly that of Gillo Dorfles, who wrote on several of Castelli's artists.