Luigi Spacal

Luigi Spacal (Trieste 1907-2000)

Lojze Spacal, known as Luigi Spacal was born in Trieste to a family of Slovenian nationality. In 1930, because of his participation in the anti-fascist movement, he was confined for some time in Basilicata. Here he discovered his artistic vocation. In 1934 he graduated from the art high school in Venice and began exhibiting his first works in 1937. He later obtained his teaching certificate and for a time taught in Slovenian schools in Trieste, later moving to Milan where he attended the Istituto Superiore per l'Arte Decorativa in Monza. The Milanese environment was decisive for the formation of his artistic taste. In the same period he also attended the Brera Academy as a private student. His pictorial research led him toward chromatic sensitivity and attention to surface values. However, his paintings are imbued with alienating elements and magical atmospheres that temper the more properly expressionist aspects of his painting. In dialogue with painting, Spacal cultivated an intense graphic activity in which his interest in the experiments of the Milanese abstractionists emerged. In 1942 he was arrested and interned in Abruzzo, later enlisted in a special labor battalion in Forte dei Marmi. In 1951 Spacal published a volume summarizing his graphic activity, and in the early 1950s he explored more and more systematically the possibilities offered by xylographic technique. In 1955, after participating in the 1954 Venice Biennale, Spacal held a major solo exhibition at the Moderna Galerija in Ljubljana, helping to found the Biennale of Graphic Art. Between 1955 and 1956 he exhibited nine woodcuts at the Rome Quadriennale and was awarded the City of Rome Prize. At the end of the decade, in the midst of the Informal climate, the Trieste artist launched himself into the discovery of the material expressiveness of the woodcut matrix, with lunges toward the original dimension of the bare woodcut. In the 1960s and 1970s Spacal's career was punctuated by a series of exhibitions and awards, both in Yugoslavia and Italy.

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