Valerio Adami
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Valerio Adami was born in Bologna in 1935; of this city he carries with him a childhood memory: Verdi's Reqiem performed for the funeral of Guglielmo Marconi. His family (Romani Adami, who has ancient Marche roots, (from Fermo) soon moved to Milan, where the young Valerio attended high school and developed his artistic interests, which he could expand with the study of ancient and Renaissance art during a trip to Rome. But it is in Venice that his choice of life dedicated to painting becomes aware and explicit, also overcoming a certain paternal resistance: he meets Felice Carena, an already established artist and begins to paint in his studio. In Venice he met Oskar Kokoschka , who marked a turning point in his youth. When he saw the great triptych "Prometheus" at the 1952 Biennale, he was deeply impressed: thanks to the genius of Kokoschka, he discovered that "painting is much more than painting", he said recently. Meanwhile, he enrolled at the Brera Academy of Fine Arts in Milan, where he attended Achille Funi's courses, under whose guidance his true technical apprenticeship takes place, especially in the art of drawing: "we drew eight hours a day, we thought about it in Athens, with Winkelmann, Mengs, David and Appiani", he will write later. In 1952 he also visited the Salon de Mai in Paris and met the poet Edouard Glissant, thanks to whom he then met the artists Roberto Sebastian Matta and Wilfredo Lam, with whom he always remained in close friendship. Since 1956 in the signature of his works he leaves the double family surname and chooses the name Adami. Two years later he made his first trip to London, where he stayed during the winter and met Francis Bacon and William Scott. In 1959 he presented a group of works at the Galleria del Naviglio in Milan with the title "Liturgie di un fatto". The following year the gallery L'Attico in Rome organizes his own personal exhibition; also participates in the "Young Italian Painters" exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in Kamakura in Japan; he also exhibits at the Galerie Art in Bremen. In the early 1960s he lived between Italy, where he placed his studio on Lake Orta, Paris and London, and was present in various international exhibitions:" Italian Artists", organized by the Cambridge Art Association of Boston; "Anti-procès", curated by Alain Jouffroy in Milan; he is also invited by Roland Penrose to exhibit at the Institute of Contemporary Art in London. He marries Camilla, also a painter herself, who will sign the same surname Adami; he then settled in Arona, on Lake Maggiore, but also lived in London, where he met Graham Sutherland and forged relationships with Jim Dine and Richard Hamilton. He paints a series of works on the theme "Alice in the country of violence". In 1964 he was invited to Documenta III in Kassel, where he participated with a personal room; he also participates in the Salon de Mai in Paris. The Galerie Krugier in Geneva hosts his solo exhibition. In 1965, the Scvhwarz Gallery in Milan presented a solo exhibition entitled "The Private Massacres". n 1966 he designed the portrait of Nietzche, inaugurating the literary portraits series, which he will develop on several occasions in the following years. He exhibits his recent works collected under the title "Pictures with connexions" in Milan, at the Schwarz and Marconi galleries. The Palais des Beaux-arts in Brussels hosts one of his solo shows. During the winter he stays in New York and lives at the Chelsea Hotel, where he paints "Hotel Chelsea Bathroom", "Latrine in Times Square", "Plein air". In Venice he met Ezra Pound. In 1967 he then joined the jury of the Salon de Mai in Paris and the delegation went to Cuba, staying for three months in Havana. He participates in the São Paulo Biennial of Brazil. He wins the Lissone Prize. In 1968 the Venice Biennale dedicated a personal room to him. Carlos Fuentes is the author of the text "Lineas para Adami" which introduces the catalog of works exhibited in the Biennale. He exhibits at the Jewish Museum in New York, in the "Young Italians" exhibition, then in Boston, at the Institute of Contemporary Art. The Mendoza Foundation in Caracas hosts an exhibition. The French state acquires one of his works: "Interieur colonial". On the occasion of the great personal exhibition at the Museo de Bellas Artes in Caracas, in 1969, he stayed in that city with Carlos Fuentes, with whom he then made a trip to Mexico, where his friendship with Octavio Paz was born. He opens a new studio in Flanders, near Ostend, where he paints the "Waiting room at Paddington Station", "Public interior", "The ring". He also stayed in Marrakech, where he painted the series of works "Les Arabes". In 1970 the Musée de la ville de Paris (ARC) organizes a large retrospective by Pierre Gaudibert, which will then be transferred to the ULM Kunstverein. That is also the year of his first solo show at the Galerie Maegt in Paris, where he will then exhibit regularly: on that occasion the number 188 of Derrière le Miroir comes out, with a writing by his poet friend Jaques Dupin. In 1971 he resumed the series of literary portraits, dedicated to intellectuals who left their mark in contemporary history and in his own life: James Joyce, Anton von Webern; later he will also paint" Gustav Mahler in Dobbiaco"; "Dr. Sgm. Freud"; and again a portrait of Gandi. In "Hamburg's Sunday" and in other works, which will be exhibited in the Maeght Gallery in Zurich, he deals with current political issues in the cultural debate of the time. Always in 1971 he also experimented with the language of film, shooting, together with his brother Giancarlo, the feature film "Vacanze nel deserto", which shows Camilla, the painter Erro and Dino Buzzati as actors. From that year he also resumes his periodic stays in New York, where he regularly returns to paint in his studio in Dowtown. Here he befriends Saul Steinberg and Richard Lindner. In 1973 he published an advertising in some newspapers: "Send me an image. Valerio Adami, painter, is looking for images". The following year he spent a long time in Bavaria and collaborated with the writer Helmut Heissenbüttel on the publication of the volume Das Reich. In 1975 he traveled between Mexico City and Los Angeles. In Paris he became friend with Jacques Derrida and created the manifesto for Glas, which would almost become a symbol of deconstructionist thought. On the occasion of the exhibition at the Galerie Maeght, Derrida writes "+ R (par dessus le marché)", which will then be included in the volume "La vérité en peinture". Also in 1975, Marc Le Bot published a long essay on his painting, entitled "Valerio Adami. Essai sur le formalisme critique". In 1976 he went for the first time to India, where he often returned, fascinated by some aspects of the culture of that great country and by Gandhi's message. He exhibited at the Galerie Maeght in Barcelona and then in Zurich; the Center d'Arts Plastiques in Bordeaux organizes its own exhibition. In 1978, during one of his usual stays in New York, he painted the first paintings inspired by classical mythology, reinterpreted in a contemporary key. He then made a long journey to the Nordic countries where he discovered the painting of Akseli Gallen-Kallela. In 1979 the Museo de Arte Moderno in Mexico City organized an anthological exhibition which included works from 1971 to 1978; the exhibition will then be transferred to the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. As is his habit, Adami stays for a long time in these countries where his works are exhibited. In 1980 Italo Cavino wrote "Quattro fiabe d'Esopo per Valerio Adami". His solo exhibitions are held in Paris, Caen, Grenoble. During his stay in New York he resumes the mythological themes with "Pandora's Box", "Oedipe et le Sfinx". In 1981 he returned to India and stayed there for a long time. Aimé Maeght dies, with whom he had established a relationship that was much closer than a simple collaboration between artist and merchant. He moved his residence to the Principato di Monaco, and opened a large studio overlooking the port of Montecarlo, which became a regular place for his work. In 1983 the Galerie Maeght in Paris still organizes an exhibition presented in the catalog by Italo Calvino. During the exhibition at the Fuji Television Gallery in Tokyo, he stayed in Japan. In 1984 he made eight large windows for the Hôtel de Ville in Vitry. He exhibited at the Marisa del Re Gallery in New York, then in Aix-en-Provence, Madrid, Amsterdam. In 1985 the Center Georges Pompidou in Paris organizes a large retrospective of him, curated by Alfred Pacquement; Dore Ashton, Jean-François Lyotard and Hubert Damisch also write in the catalog. In the following year the exhibition will be transferred to the Palazzo Reale in Milan. He created the scenography in Geneva for the celebratory show of the 450th anniversary of the Calvinist Reformation. He paints "Gottfried Keller", portrayed as shepherd, and "Anagrams". In 1987, after his usual stay in New York, he made a long trip to the Nordic countries, following the itinerary of his personal exhibitions: first in Oslo, then in Copenhagen, Helsinki, Turku, Malmö. He paints  "Finland", inspired by Sibelius' symphonic poem. Back in France, he made two monumental paintings for the atrium of the Gare d'Austerlitz. In 1988 he painted the portrait of the musician Pierre Boulez, commissioned by the French state. The Galerie Lelong in Paris organizes its own solo show. The Modern Art Gallery of Bologna organizes the exhibition "Mnemosyne", with a series of cultural events that accompany it. In 1989 the publisher Plon published the version of his notebooks with the title "Les règles du montage". For the celebrations of the bicentenary of the Revolution, the French Ministry of Defense commissioned him to paint a commemorative painting of the battle of Valmy. He also creates a large fresco on the facade of the Théâtre Châtelet in Paris. In 1990 he returned to Lake Maggiore, no longer in Arona but in Meina, where he built his own house - studio, high on the lake, which he called "I Diosperi". Here he will spend a few months more and more during the summer. During the year he exhibited in New York, London, Chicago. The city of Brussels organizes an exhibition of him at the Espace Médicis. The city of Valencia hosts a major retrospective at the IVAM Center Julio Gonzáles: for the catalog Octavio Paz writes the essay "La Línea narativa". He paints some political-themed works, including Peace in the Middle East. Continuing the series of literary portraits, he painted the portrait of Leopardi. In 1992 he stayed a long time in Mexico. The death of his father inspired him to paint "L'angelo". He was commissioned to paint four large murals, which he created in 1993, for the Park Hyatt Hotel in Tokyo, designed by architects Kenzo Tange and John Morford. He stayed in Tokyo again in 1994, then moved to Sri Lanka, then to Buenos Aires. Back in Paris, he painted "Penthesilea", and "Aeneas and Anchisae in a classical landscape". Travel to Greece, where he will also return in the following year. The city of Siena dedicates an anthological exhibition to him at the Magazzini del Sale. In 1995 he exhibited at the museum in Bochum, Germany. He reads  Calvary  by Law W.B. Yeats, that inspired him a work entitled "Calvary". He paints the portrait of his friend Luciano Berio. New stay in India in 1996: he paints Benares landscape on the Gance; then a large exhibition at Palazzo Medici Riccardi in Florence; he also shows at the Palazzo delle Stelline in Milan. In 1997 the Tel Aviv Museum of Art dedicated a retrospective to him curated by Mordechai Omer and Alisa Padovano Friedman. For Giancarlo Menotti he created the manifesto of the Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto, which hosts one of his solo shows. In 1998 the Museo de Bellas Artes in Buenos Aires presents a retrospective of his. His exhibition follows at Palazzo Magnani in Reggio Emilia. In 2000 his mother died, to whom he dedicated the painting "Par coeur". The Italian edition of his notebooks is published by the publisher SE, with the title "Sinopie". He constitutes in Meina the European Drawing Foundation, which organizes conferences and seminars attended by many well-known Italian and European intellectuals. He paints the portrait of Hermann Hesse. The writer Antonio Tabucchi, with whom he has had friendship for some time, dedicates to his work the story "The headaches of the Minotaur". n 2001 he made another trip to India and visited Gandhi's ashram in Ahmedabad. The "Indian Wedding" painting was born from this living room. When he is not traveling, he spends the various seasons of the year between Paris, Montecarlo and Meina: he dedicates his day to Meina above all to drawing, while he mostly paints in Paris and Montecarlo. In 2002, the Galerie Forsblom in Helsinki organized a solo exhibition: "Homage to Gallen-Kallela". The Galerie Marlborough in Montecarlo presents a solo exhibition with his recent works; he also began his collaboration with the Marlborough Gallery in New York. During the summer he gives a lecture on Cézanne in the artist's house in Aix-en-Provence. The publisher Galilée publishes his notebooks under the title "Dessiner". He stays in New York for his solo show at the Marlborough Gallery. He returns to Valencia with an exhibition on the theme of closed form design: "En forma cerrada". In 2003 he created the scenes for Richard Wagner's "Flying Dutchman", commissioned by the San Carlo Theater in Naples. During the summer he creates two large paintings for the Mandarin Hotel in New York. In 2004, on the occasion of the Olympics, the Frissiras Museum in Athens dedicated an important retrospective to him. It also presents the exhibition "Stanze" at the Villa dei Cedri Museum in Bellinzona. In the summer, the third Ekphrasis seminar opens at the European Drawing Foundation. He exhibited recent works at the Galerie Templon in Paris with the title:" Préludes et Aprés-ludes". In 2005 the Marlborough Gallery in Madrid presented an exhibition of his large format drawings and cartoons. He is part of the jury of the Locarno Film Festival, for which he also makes the poster. On the occasion of his drawing exhibition at the Museu Nogueira da Silva, the Universidade do Minho of Braga (Portugal) organizes a seminar on his work. In 2006 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Museum of Contemporary Art in Lissone, which hosts the retrospective exhibition "Adami d'après Adami". For the Maeght editions comes out "Adami (sinopia)". In 2007 the Galerie Forsblom in Helsinki organizes his personal "Paintings of perplexity". Jean-Luc Nancy publishes "A plus d'un titre", dedicated to his portrait of Derrida. Makes friendship with the philosopher Mischel Onfray, who in 2008 wrote the essay "Le chiffre de la peinture. L'oeuvre de Valero Adami", on the occasion of his retrospective at the Médiathèque François Mitterand of Argentan. The following year the Palazzo della Promotrice di Belle Arti Turin hosted his and Camilla retrospective with the title "Camilla ADAMI Valerio". The Museum of Modern Art of Ca 'Pesaro in Venice organizes an exhibition of its graphics and assigns to it the "Do Forni International Graphic Award". His solo exhibitions open in Paris, at the Galerie Daniel Templon, in Berlin, at the Galerie Michel Haas, in London, at the Mayor Gallery. In 2010, the Boca Raton Museum of Art in Miami organizes an anthological exhibition. In recent years he leads a more collected life, between Paris and Meina, more rarely in Montecarlo, dedicating all his energies to drawing and painting: "In the evening, having finished my drawing, I find myself with folded hands - homo religiosus" , he said lately. However, the exhibition activity continues incessantly in Italy, France, Germany, England. Among his exhibitions in public institutions, we must remember at least: "Quadri di lettura" at the Italian Pavilion of the Venice Biennale (2011); "Allegories" at the Ravenna Museum (2013); "Transfigurations" at the Saint Sauveur chapel in Saint-Malo (2016). In 2017 Valerio Adami  exhibits at Galleria d'Arte L'Incontro in Chiari (Italy) with works from 1960 to 2007 .

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