Carlo Pace was born in Alessandria, Piemonte, Italy, on 8th March 1937.
His approach to artwork was due to an early, innate sensitivity and to his father Luigi, well-known art collector and dealer of contemporary art, who brings him closer to the culture of the twentieth century and, in particular, to main avant-garde movements.
In 1952-53 he made his first material-semiotic-gestural attempts and, as evidenced by Dino Molinari, Pace has represented for the territory of Alessandria a true innovative proposal. He joined the worlwide trend that was known as ‘Informale’ and that was theorized by Francesco Arcangeli in Italy. Pace joined it, instinctively more that rationally, given his age of 17.
After 1965, when historically the ‘Informale’ ran out its energy, the material of his artwork gets smoother and more decanted. The sign triumphs. The same sign which has already been happily revealed in some drawings, that Pace painted back in 50s, entitled “Elogio al segno” (Elegy to sign). The sign – says Pace in his autobiography – is the peculiar element of my artwork.
Pace shows a specific attention to the study of the human figure as evidenced by the portraits and self-portraits of this age. In 1961 he solo exhibited at “La Maggiolina” gallery of Alessandria, in 1962 he was involved in a group exhibition in the gallery “Il traghetto” in Venice.
After 1962, perceiving the human inability to communicate and some gender ambiguity, he creates a whole new series of personnel figures without arms, without contact (‘Figurativo‘) , that captures attention and interest by Marco Valsecchi which in 1970 suggestes Carlo Pace for the “Ramazzotti Award” at Palazzo Reale in Milan.
In 1973 in the occasion of the exhibition “Il salotto” in Como, Pace gets to know Mario Radice, artist and critic reviewer who will be essential in his education.
In the 70s he begins his research on materials. The most varying-natured materials – sheets of paper, woods but epecially cardboards – will allow him to make a material synthesis within research and handcrafting. Using woods and tables (formelle) will allow Pace to reach an effective plastic language. Experimental tables come to life, in which spaces of free matter, alternated to color splashes, highlight those blind eyes that will become one of its distinctive issues: L’occhio del quadro (The eye of the painting).
Matter is perceived as a living essence, because it is subject to natural transformations as all living creatures. In the matter begins to surface a bone skeleton that starts becoming ‘the spinal column’ of the picture (Spine dorsali). Out of the maceration of absorbent paper were born the first Spine dorsali in 1975, then realized on boards (paper, carton, wood), canvas, and ultimately on sandpapers.
In 1977 came to life the Anatomical Papers.
In the 80s a new semiotic-gestural language enters Carletto’s artworking: the Fonemi (Phonemes). Almost all made on paper and hardboard, they are a kind of short notes of sounds, of gestures which, collectively, form pictorial sentences suffused with musicality.
From 1980 til 1991 he gets into chalcography together with Gianni Baretta. The metal sheets he uses to engrave are customized in the cut and in the scratches by rough chromatic frictions, that make them similar to antique paper-reeds.
In the decade 1990-2000 Pace starts ‘painting’ again, a painting that does not ignore the past, but his image is now torn, sometimes is a grid, or a net, sometimes it becomes a botanical, anatomical, histological drawing. A form in fieri, a kind of cobweb-on-canvas (Tela-ragna). The elements of his compound, while relying on apparently traditional instruments, are explosive, astounding, brainchildren out of a crazy creativity never seen before, different from any forerunner, says Dino Molinari.
At the beginning of the new millennium Pace was involved in crafting large vertical canvases, a polyptich infinite, that is open to any possible addition. These artworks can be considered as a one, or disassembled and reassembled in a number of diptychs and triptychs. These paintings are featured by a regular pace, full of vibrating colors, brushed and/or trickling down.
2003 is the year of Tessiture (Textures) handcrafted with needle and sewing thread. Such production has been limited because of the great effort either visual and manual that required.
Since 2005 the sandpaper has become his favourite surface to paint: la Pelle del Quadro (the skin of the painting), rough and scratchy, as his character was.
Carlo Pace suddenly expires February 1st, 2011.