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MARIO SCHIFANO

Born in 1934 in Homs, Libya; died in 1998 in Rome, Italy.

Schifano’s father was an archaeologist, who was living and working in Libya at the time of his birth. Schifano returns to Rome at the outbreak of the war, and in the mid-1950s he begins to paint. He has his first solo exhibition in 1959, and in 1960 he begins a series of monochrome paintings. Schifano is part of the generation that includes artists Tano Festa and Franco Angeli, who break away from art informel.Art critics start to take an interest in Schifano’s work after the group show at The Galleria La Salita, where also Angeli, Festa, Lo Savio and Unicini exhibit. Ileana Sonnabend represents him exclusively until 1963. In 1962 he arrives in New York where he remains several months. In 1964 he is invited for the first time to Venice Biennale with his anemic landscapes. His artistic production of the 1960s continues in the large cycles, such as Futurismo Rivisitato, Le Stelle, Compagni compagni. In the 1970s, he experiments with new languages: cinema, video and photography. In Paesaggi TV, images are taken from the television screen and re purposed in his paintings. At the end of the 1970s, he returns to painting with the series Orto botanico, Ninfee, Campo di pane. His 1980s and 1990s works are mainly mixed medium paintings, as well as screen prints on photographic canvas of PVC and countless photographs retouched. In 1982 he participates again to Venice Biennale. In 2008 the National Gallery of Modern Art in Rome dedicates him a major posthumous retrospective.

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Artist