Schifano Mario

Schifano Mario

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Mario Schifano (Homs, 20 September 1934 – Rome, 26 January 1998). Mario Schifano is known for being the most important Italian protagonist of pop art. A turbulent genius, intolerant of any constraints and conventions, he conceives painting as something absolutely primary, disconnected from any style or tradition. His work is placed within the artistic currents connected to a new objectivity that is attentive as never before to the imprints of the city and human space and in which the relationship with the world is mediated by the means of mass communication (the film, the signal, comics, advertising). Fascinated by the incessant flow of images typical of modern society, he uses a great variety of techniques, from painting to collage. Prolific and exuberant, he works in thematic cycles, giving life to images destined to become milestones of contemporary art. Born in Homs, Libya, in 1934, Mario Schifano moved to Rome immediately after the war. Having abandoned his studies, he works as an assistant to his father, who is an archaeologist restorer at the Etruscan Museum of Villa Giulia. Then with Angeli, Festa, Lo Savio and Uncini he held the collective show 5 pittori – Roma '60, curated by Restany, and critics began to take an interest in his painting. Having abandoned his informal ways, he creates monochrome works with industrial enamels, where the wrapping paper is glued onto the canvas and covered with a single colour. After a trip to the United States, where he participated in the exhibition The New Realism at the Sidney Janis Gallery in New York, he began to introduce fragments of urban iconography into his canvases. He works in thematic cycles: from Anemic Landscapes to the series dedicated to the history of art (Futurism revisited, 1966). Since 1970, after his political and civil commitment in the years of protest, he has experimented with the transfer of television images onto emulsified canvas, to which he adds chromatic interventions with industrial enamels. He held numerous solo exhibitions and in 1972 exhibited at the X Roman Quadrennial. The following year he participated in the Contemporanea exhibition, curated by Achille Bonito Oliva in the parking lot of Villa Borghese. In 1974 a vast anthology took place at the University of Parma which retraces his artistic career with around a hundred works. In recent years he returns to revisit the history of art with works inspired by the masterpieces of the historical avant-gardes and creates new cycles, including Equestrian Paintings, Architecture, Unknown Nature, Finds. In addition to organizing numerous solo exhibitions in Italy and abroad, he participates in various editions of the Venice Biennale and is included in the main exhibitions dedicated to Italian contemporary art, including: Identité italienne, 1981, Center Pompidou, Paris; Italian Art of the 20th century, 1989 Royal Academy, London; The Italian Metamorphosis 1943-1968, 1994, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (later transferred to the Triennale di Milano and the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg). The artist died in Rome in 1998. He died at the age of 64, after a life of excess and recklessness: he experienced prison, a mental hospital due to drugs, and attempted suicide. 

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The works of Schifano Mario

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