For centuries, Italy has been renowned for its historic and exceptionally skilled artists. High renaissance artists and visionary creative minds such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael are household names even to those with little interest in art, and there’s no doubting that Italy is a country steeped in artistic history. However, you don’t just have to look to the past to see the inspiration and talent bursting from the cities, towns and beaches of Italy – the country is just as relevant in the modern art world as it always has been. To celebrate, we’ve put together a list of the exciting Italian modern artists from the past 50 years that you need to know about.
An artist with a taste for conveying emotion through simplicity, Ettore Spalletti’s minimal paintings are contemplative and moving, as well as being simply stunning to look at. Working from the village of Cappelle sul Tavo, near the Italian Adriatic coast, Spalletti’s work draws influence from architecture as much as it does colour, and the resulting art is subtle, clever and compelling.
Paolo Gioli is an artist who isn’t afraid to push his own boundaries. For the past 50 years the Gioli has experimented with painting, screenprinting, lithography, film and photography, creating works that are at times subversive, beautiful and always fascinating.
One of the founders and protagonists of the important Italian post-war artistic group, the Padua-based Gruppo Enne, Alberto Biasi is considered a pioneer in the world of Kinetic Art. Featuring explosions of vibrant color and astounding geometric precision, Biasi’s work explores optical effects that are created using everyday materials such as PVC strips and painted designs.
Arguably one of the most important Italian painters in the post war period together with Alberto Burri and Lucio Fontana, Afro Basaldella (more commonly known just as Afro) developed a loose and almost improvisational abstract style that won him accolades throughout his career. In addition to his outstanding personal work, Afro also designed sets and costumes for the ballet and the opera.