Mimmo Paladino

Biography of Mimmo Paladino

Making use of spiritual and symbolic elements, the classically inspired Mimmo Paladino, was a leading exponent of the Transavanguardia movement in Italy—a revival of Neo-Expressionism. Drawing from tribal, Egyptian, Christian, as well as modern and contemporary art traditions, Paladino’s art work has a timeless and profound sensibility.


Born in 1948 Mimmo Paladino studied at the Liceo artistico di Benevento and spent much of the 1970s focused on drawing, developing much of the imagery that would later feature in his paintings. The late 1970s saw the artist produce monochrome paintings, often with the incorporation of found objects. After his first show in 1977, it did not take long for his international profile to increase rapidly and he began mounting solo shows in museums in New York and across Europe.


Mimmo Paladino’s figurative paintings are imbued with religious imagery taken from icons from Europe and North Africa. Profound and absorbing, their fixed arrangement is offset by their own uniquely-charged symbolism. Paladino is also a master-printmaker, adept at etching, aquatint, and linocut, his limited edition prints, often feature the extended limbs and bodies of primitive and enigmatic male forms.


More recently Mimmo Paladino has become increasingly interested in the relationship between visual art and sound, working with the legendary British musician Brian Eno on an installation for the Roundhouse in London in 1999. That same year he was made an Honorary member of the Royal Academy of Arts in London.


Much of Mimmo Paladino’s graphic work was collected and published in the Opera Grafica 1974-2001 and in 2002 he was granted the most comprehensive retrospective exhibition ever organized by an Italian museum, The Centro per l'Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci in Prato. In 2004 he worked in close collaboration with Sol Lewitt to put on a show at the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna in Rome. In 2008 an important monument made in the memory of migrants deceased at sea was inaugurated by Paladino.


In 2012 Mimmo Paladino was commissioned to make a monumental installation for the Piazza Santa Croce in Florence and in 2015 was a prominent part of the 55th Venice Biennale. In 2016 The Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, Grand Rapids, in the US will exhibited his sculptures entitled “Mimmo Paladino: Present into Past”.

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