Emilio Scanavino

Biography

Artwork

" His research is characterized by an informal language rich of expressive and rhythmic content. "

Biography

Research

Italian painter, his research moves from expressionism. After the stays in Paris and London he worked as a ceramist at Albisola, coming into contact with Gianni Dova and Lucio Fontana and some members of the group CoBrA; then settled in Milan, joined the Spatialism movement. His research is characterized by an informal language rich of expressive content and rhythmic; then he inserts into grids more rigid his typical signs combined to form knots and tangles.

Notes

In 1938 the young Scanavino enrolled to the Art School Nicolò Barabino of Genoa where he met his teacher Mario Calonghi, who had a great influence on Scanavino’s first formation. In 1942 he had his first exhibition at the Salone Romano of Genoa. In the same year he enrolled at the Faculty of Architecture at Milan University. In 1947 Scanavino moved, for the first time, to Paris where he met poets and artists such as Edouard Jaguer, Wols and Camille Bryen. This experience results invaluable on his stylistic growth. There he especially has assimilated Cubism echoes, which he rendered into a personal interpretation since 1948 when he exhibited at the Gallery Isola of Genoa. In the Fifties he was part of the group I sette del Numero of the Numero Gallery in Florence, together the other famous painter Rocco Borella. In 1950 he exhibited at the 25th edition of the Venice Biennale and in 1951 at the Apollinaire Gallery of London in a two-person exhibition with the sculptor Sarah Jackson. During the sojourn in London he met Philip Martin, Eduardo Paolozzi, Graham Sutherland and Francis Bacon. In the same year he opened his first studio in Milan in an attic of the Foro Bonaparte. The art critic Guido Ballo and the gallery managers Guido Le Noci and Arturo Schwartz curated his works. In 1952, he also worked at Marzotti’s Ceramic Factory in Albissola Marina, where he met many artists and became friends with some of them. Among them there were Lucio Fontana, Asger Jorn, Corneille, Roberto Matta, Wifredo Lam, Giuseppe Capogrossi, Enrico Baj, Sergio Dangelo, Roberto Crippa, Gianni Dova, Agenore Fabbri, Aligi Sassu... In 1954 his work's characteristic sign started to appear. That is the “stylized knot”, which would characterize all of his following production. Inside the artworks by Scanavino it is possible to see the genesis of the painting transposition of the interiority, with all of its torment, which are the marking point of Scanavino's art. In 1954 he exhibited again at the Venice Biennale (27th edition) and one year later he received the Graziano Prize. In 1958 he earned Lissone Prize and joined Venice Biennale with an own room, winning the Prampolini Prize. In the same year he signed a contract with the Naviglio Gallery directed by Carlo Cardazzo with whom he established an important friendship and working relation. He then moved to Milan with his family and many critics curated his works, among them Enrico Crispolti, Guido Ballo, Giampiero Giani, Edouard Jaguer, Gillo Dorfles, Roberto Sanesi, Franco Russoli and Alain Jouffroy. In 1966 he exhibited again with a personal room at 33rd Venice Biennale, where he won the Pininfarina Prize. In 1968 he moved his studio at Calice Ligure. A group of artists also moved there, creating a small community around Scanavino. In 1970 he earned the Gran Prix at Mentone Biennale. During the Seventies he travelled in Belgium, France and Germany but he remained living at Calice Ligure. In his late Seventies years paintings, the “knot” is perfectly defined and recognizable and painted in anguishing forms, sometimes even threatening and stained of bloody red: the artworks Bestiario (Bestiary) and Crocefissione (Crucifixion) are very representatives of this phase. Between 1973 and 1974 the Kunsthalle of Darmstadt exhibited an anthological exhibition that, with some small variation, was also showed in 1974 at Venice's Palazzo Grassi and Milan's Palazzo Reale. In 1982, although in failing health, he kept working and exhibiting in public and private places. In 1986 he was invited to exhibit at Rome Quadriennale.

Artwork