A central figure in the East Village art scene that thrived during the 1960s, poet, painter, sculptor and pioneering multi-media artist Aldo Tambellini (b. 1930) has only begun to be recognized for his prescient and innovative art. Throughout his long career, Tambellini has worked in a staggering range of media - from his early Arte Povera-style sculptures and abstract drawings done in Italy and America in the 1950s and 1960s, to his experimental work in early video and television art, which he pioneered alongside his close friend and occasional collaborator Nam Jun Paik, to the series of abstract films he made in the 1960s. Beginning in 1965 with Black Is, Tambellini launched a series of politically charged experimental films that explore the expressive possibilities of black as a dominant color and idea. For the most part Tambellini’s seven “black films” are made without the use of a camera but rather by carefully manipulating the film itself by scorching, scratching, painting and treating the film stock as a type of sculptural and painterly medium. Beautifully austere and hypnotically immersive, Tambellini’s films are also important expressions of an artist critically aware of the emergent Information Age and its possibilities. Often using found footage and filmed television, Tambellini’s films take a crucial pulse of the new moving image culture being formed in the Sixties.
This rare presentation of the entire Black Film cycle anticipates an important upcoming exhibition of Aldo Tambellini's Black Paintings at the Pierre Menard Gallery, located at 10 Arrow Street in Harvard Square.