" After a fertile phase of experimentation in the artistic field, he dedicated his studies to aesthetics and art criticism, dealing with the problem of the vanguard, the relationship between art and industry "
In the vision of Dorfles the
aesthetics focuses on culture as a whole, which combine elements of fantasy,
symbolic, metaphorical and mythical suggestions also. Among his major literary
works: Architettura Moderna (Modern Architecture) (1954); The
Kitsch (1968); La moda della moda (The fashion of fashion)
(1984); Il feticcio quotidiano (The fetish daily) (1988); Horror
Pleni. La inciviltà del rumore
(Horror Pleni. The (in) civilization of the noise) (2008).
The first period of his art research
is marked by works in tempera, oil and watercolor, with a fable-like
inspiration, and which display a merging of diverse shapes and materials:
aerial, liquid, and solid.
He participated in the Italian
exhibition of Abstract Art (Milan, 1945); in 1948 he was among the founders of
the Movement for Concrete Art (MAC), together with Gianni Monnet, Atanasio
Soldati and Bruno Munari. The movement focused on a search for concrete, pure,
and primordial forms having a very free and organic feel.
At the end of the fifties, he devoted
himself to the study of aesthetics (teaching at the universities in Trieste,
Milan and Cagliari) and to exercise of art criticism.
The 1980s on the other hand saw a return to pictorial production and the artist’s work began to be shown regularly to the general public. These works have ironic protagonists as their subjects, such as Perplessità (Perplexity) in which the artist let himself go to play, his imagination and ironic allusion. Dorfles rich artistic journey has its unifying characteristics in asymmetry, lightness and pauses, in other words, the tendency to alternate solids and voids, volumes and spaces. His artistic production, as well as in group exhibitions in the MAC, was exhibited in various solo exhibitions: in 1986 in Milano, at Studio Marconi, with poems and prose writings, paintings and graphic works; in 1988 in Aosta at Leper's Tower, was held the first anthology of the artist; in 1996 in Rome at Museo lab at the University "La Sapienza". In 2010, on the occasion of the hundredth birthday, has been dedicated to him the exhibition Dorfles. L’avanguardia tradita (Dorfles. The avant-garde betrayed), at Palazzo Reale in Milano, while in 2012 the exhibition, held at the Triennale di Milano and edited by the same Dorfles, is entitled Gillo Dorfles. Kitsch-oggi il kitsch (Gillo Dorfles. Kitsch - Today the kitsch), and in 2014 the solo exhibition Dorfles. Ieri e oggi (Dorfles. Yesterday and today) held at the Marconi Foundation in Milan, where they were exhibited paintings, ceramics and sculptures created by the artist over the past thirty years.