Bruno Di Bello
— The Arts Club, Dubai

This exhibition presented a selection of nine works on canvas by celebrated Italian artist Bruno Di Bello. Created between the early and late 70s, these works represent a period marked by a transition in the artist’s investigation of the true nature of the image, shifting from his earlier focus on figuration to experimental abstraction. 

In his earlier figurative works, Di Bello used methods of decomposition, superimposition, and detectable yet illegible messaging in the form of shuffled grids. Each photograph is manipulated in an almost mechanical manner. This method is intellectually playful and informal, applying disorder and symmetry where it is least expected – portrait photography.  

In his later works, Di Bello’s experiments progressed towards total abstraction. Using the same method of photographic emulsion on canvas as with the earlier works on display, these abstract works no longer confer symmetry, disorder or even order. Instead, the shapes are the result of a focus on the elementary process itself rather than its outcome or meaning.

Di Bello’s works joined The Arts Club’s collection of artworks on permanent display including Amoako Boafo, Akram Zaatari, Genesis Tramaine and Shara Hughes in Dubai, and add to the already established collection of artists such as Albert Oehlen, John Baldessari and George Condo in London.

We were extremely grateful to the Fondazione Marconi and Gio Marconi Gallery for their ongoing dedication to Di Bello and for having worked with us on this selection.

Bruno Di Bello (1938 – 2019) attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Naples. In 1958 he formed Gruppo ‘58 and began to exhibit his work frequently. His first solo show was held in 1966 at Galleria Lucio Amelio in Naples, followed by two further exhibitions in 1970 and 1977. He moved to Milan in 1967, and in 1971 he exhibited at the Venice Biennale and for the first time at Studio Marconi, and subsequently in 1974, 1976, 1978, 1981 and 2003. One of his many, important shows abroad took place in 1974 at the Kunsthalle, Bern. In 2010, Fondazione Marconi presented a major retrospective of his work, and in 2011 a solo show was held at the Museu de Arte Contemporanea de Niteroi, Rio de Janeiro.