Mario Schifano

"I want to paint the painting" (Mario Schifano)


Mario Schifano

Mario Schifano is born in Libya (Homs) in 1934. He arrived in Rome with his family in the postwar period and started to work restoring vases and planning graves for the Etruscan Museum of Valle Giulia. Soon, however, his desire of painting emerged, already evident during his first solo exhibition at the Appia Antica Galleryin Rome in 1959, with artworks characterized by drips and body language.

With the collective exhibition at Salita in 1960(Five Roman painters: Angeli, Festa, Lo Savio, Schifano, Uncini), the artist inaugurated a fervent season that will last more than a decade, in which he will have great success with the critics and during which he recEived prizes, such as the Lissone Prize 1961 and the Fiorino Prize, New Generation(Florence 1963).

His painting technique is characteriZed above all by the use of the monochrome expressed on papers glued on canvas and covered only by a color. In Schifano's works is strong the attention to the technology and the reproduction of images, to music, to advertisement, to photo and the cinema. In fact the first years of the '70s open with the series of emulsified canvas where images from television are extrapolated, brought on canvas and then submitted to interventions of color.

The attention of the critics allowed him to exhibit in important locations not only in Italy (Rome, Venice, Ferrara, Milan, Verona) but also, and especially in the '90s, abroad (Paris, San Francisco, Oporto, Frankfurt, London, Bruxelles, New York, Beijing).

Schifano died on January 26th 1998 in a Roman hospital.

Schifano has been a particularly beloved artist by the critics and by collectors for his intense creativeness and for introducing Italian art into the field of pop art. For these reasons, today his works are considered a solid investment: in November 2013 one of his works was sold in the Dorotheum auction in Vienna for 446.800 €.