Mario Schifano

Biography

Artwork

" He participated to the the atmosphere pop, searching new means of expression through a review of the avant-garde or the recovery of fragments of our own images of the urban landscape. "

Biography

Research

Italian painter, after a trip to the U.S.A. in the Sixties he participated to the the atmosphere pop, searching new means of expression through a review of the avant-garde or the recovery of fragments of our own images of the urban landscape. For his works, often developed in cycles, he had experimented material (emulsified canvases, paper, Plexiglas...) and techniques (photo-impressions, collages…) maintaining a constant interest in film language. Since the Eighties he returned to painting with large pictures by brilliant colors.

Notes

After the second postwar period his family moves to Rome, where the young Schifano collaborates with his father, a restorer archaeologist at the Etruscan Museum. In the meanwhile he starts painting. His debut is inside the informal culture with canvas of high thickness. He exhibits for the first time in 1959 and yet the following year the critics start to demonstrate great interest in his painting. Between 1962 and 1963 he spends part of his life in the United States, where he comes closer to Pop Art. In 1964 he is invited to exhibit at the Venice Biennale. It is in that period that he paints the anemic landscapes, where the natural world is transferred on the thread of memory trough fragments, details, and allusive writings. The artist works by thematic cycles and by the end of 1964 he marks the interest towards the re-visitation of the history of art, which the following year will bring him to those famous artworks dedicated to Futurism. In 1965 he exhibits at the Biennale in San Marino and in San Paolo in Brazil. He was also author of some underground movies. At the beginning of the Seventies Schifano starts reproducing some TV images directly on emulsified canvas, setting them apart from the narrative rhythm they belong to and re-proposing them with some touches of nitric colors. The TV-image is fatuous, evanescent, and immaterial, of quick use; when it is transferred on canvas and it is transformed by the artist, who in the meanwhile assimilates it, it acquires a stable value and other meaning. The artworks Televisore (TV) and Untitled are important examples of this research. After a long period in which Schifano was between ideological and existential fears, which will of course influence his creative talent and bring him far from the artistic scene, he will take interest again in painting towards the end of the Seventies. He is invited to several exhibitions, among them the Venice Biennale again in 1982 and 1984. This is the period of his landscapes, his water-lilies, his cornfields, the movements of sea, the extents of sand re-created trough memories and sensations. The chromatic matter is rich, although of surface. The painting, impregnated of gestures, lives of an internal energy, conquers the space with his chromatic preciosity. In 1996 Schifano starts a site in Internet which will put him in contact with the world. His works are kept in various museums including the National Gallery of Modern Art in Rome and the Gallery of Modern Art in Turin. In 2012, his former assistant L. Ronchi has published the biography of Mario Schifano, which traces the artistic and human history of the painter.

Artwork