This autumn, the Estorick Collection
presents the work of Luigi Pericle (1916-2001), whose intense, enigmatic imagery was the subject of numerous exhibitions in Britain during the early1960s. Shortly thereafter Pericle retreated from the art system and for the rest of his life worked in a secluded house on Monte Verità (Mount Truth) in Switzerland. Having fallen into oblivion for several decades, his work was dramatically rediscovered in 2016 with the purchase of the artists former residence, which proved to be a treasure trove of paintings and graphic works. Luigi Pericle: A Rediscovery runs from 14 September until 18 December at the Estorick Collection.
A Swiss painter of Italian origin, Pericle was also an illustrator, writer, and a scholar of esoteric philosophies such as astrology, theosophy and alchemy. During the 1960s his imagery was greatly admired by figures such as Herbert Read and Ben Nicholson. Pericles works characterised by sweeping, calligraphic brushstrokes established him as a key protagonist of post-war abstraction, yet in 1965, at the peak of his success, he suddenly withdrew from the art world. For the remainder of his career Pericle dedicated himself to his philosophical studies and to the creation of luminous, complex artworks in which cosmic forces and transcendental psychic states were explored through a highly personal repertoire of geometric forms and mystical, totemic symbols.
The process of restoring, cataloguing and researching Pericles vast oeuvre is ongoing, and is overseen by Asconas Archivio Luigi Pericle, with which this careerspanning retrospective has been organised.
The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue published by Paul Holberton with essays by James Hall, Thomas Marks, Martina Mazzotta and Marco Pasi. Institutional partners: Warburg Institute, Centre for History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents University of Amsterdam and the Eranos Foundation.
The Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art is internationally renowned for its core of Futurist works. It comprises some 120 paintings, drawings, watercolours, prints and sculptures by many of the most prominent Italian artists of the modernist era. There are six galleries, two of which are used for temporary exhibitions. Since opening in 1998, the Estorick has established a reputation and gained critical acclaim as a key venue for bringing Italian art to the British public.