Mario Schifano

Mario Schifano

He was born 20th September 1934 in Homs (Libya). Right after the Second World War, his family moved to Rome, where the young Schifano collaborated with his father, a restorer archaeologist at the Etruscan Museum and started to paint. His debut was inside the informal culture. He exhibited for the first time in 1959 and the following year the critics showed interest in his painting. Between 1962 and 1963 he spent part of his life in the United States, where he came closer to Pop Art. In 1964 he was invited to exhibit at the Biennial in Venice. It was in that period that he painted the anaemic landscapes, where the natural world was transferred on the thread of memory trough fragments, details and allusive writings. The artist worked by thematic cycles and by the end of 1964 he marked the interest towards the re visitation of the history of art, which the following year would have brought him to those famous artworks dedicated to Futurism. In 1965 he exhibited at the Biennial in San Marino and in San Paolo in Brazil. He was also the author of some underground movies. At the beginning of the ’70s Schifano started to reproduce some TV-images directly on emulsified canvas, setting them apart from the narrative rhythm they belonged to and re proposing them with some touches of nitre colours. The TV-image was fatuous, evanescent and immaterial, of quick use. When it was transferred on canvas and it was transformed by the artist, who in the meanwhile had assimilated it, it acquired a stable value and other meaning. After a long period in which Schifano was contented between ideological and existential fears, that of course would have influenced his creative talent and brought him far from the artistic scene, he will took interest in painting towards the end of the ‘70s. He was invited to several exhibitions, like the Biennial of Venice in 1982 and 1984. This was 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 is full of gestures and it lives of an internal energy, conquers the space. In 1996 Schifano started a site in Internet which would have put him in contact with the world. He died in Rome in 1998.

Official website of Mario Schifano