Emilio Vedova

Biography

Picture Emilio Vedova

Born on August 9, 1919, in Venice.
He is essentially self-taught as an artist. About 1942 he joined the Milanese artists’ association Corrente, which also included Renato Birolli, Renato Guttuso, Ennio Morlotti, and Umberto Vittorini. Vedova participated in the Resistance movement from 1943–45. In 1946 he collaborated with Morlotti on the manifesto Oltre Guernica in Milan and was a founding member of the Fronte Nuovo delle Arti in Venice. He describes his paintings of this period, 1946–50, as Geometrie nere.
Vedova’s first solo show in the United States was held at the Catherine Viviano Gallery in New York in 1951. In the same year he was awarded the prize for young painters at the first São Paulo Bienal. In 1952 he participated in the Gruppo degli Otto, organized by Lionello Venturi. Vedova was represented at the first Documenta exhibition in Kassel in 1955 and won a Guggenheim International Award in 1956. He executed his first lithographs in 1958, the year he went to Poland on the occasion of his retrospective at the Muzeum Narodowe in Poznan and the “Zacheta” in Warsaw. In 1959 he created large L-shaped canvases, called Scontri di situazioni, which were exhibited in an environment created by Carlo Scarpa for the exhibition Vitalità nell’arte, which opened at Palazzo Grassi, Venice, and traveled to the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. This led to the first Plurimi in 1961–63: freestanding, hinged, and painted sculpture/paintings made of wood and metal.
Vedova was awarded the Grand Prize for Painting at the 1960 Venice Biennale, the year in which he created moving light sets and costumes for Luigi Nono’s opera Intolleranza ’60. From 1963 to 1965, Vedova worked in Berlin, at the Deutsche Akademischer Austausch Dienst, and created his best known Plurimi, the Absurdes Berliner Tagebuch, seven of which were presented at Documenta III, Kassel. From 1965 to 1969 (and in 1988), he succeeded Oskar Kokoschka as Director of the Internationale Sommerakademie in Salzburg. In 1965 and 1983 he traveled in the United States, where he lectured extensively. For the Italian Pavilion at Expo ’67, Montreal, he created a light-collage using glass plates to project mobile images across a large asymmetric space. Vedova taught at the Accademia di Belle Arti, Venice, from 1975 to 1986. Since the late 1970s, he has experimented with a variety of new techniques and formats such as the Plurimi-Binari (mobile works on steel rails), monotypes, double-sided circular panels (Dischi), and large-scale glass engraving. In 1995 he began a new series of multifaceted and manipulable painted objects called Disco-Plurimo.


Solo Exhibitions and Group exhibitions (Selected)

1951
Catherine Viviano Gallery - New York NY, United States
Bienal Internacional de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

1955
Museum Fridericianum - Kassel, Germany

1958
Muzeum Narodowe - Poznan, Poland
Galeria Sztuki Wspolczesnej Zacheta - Warsaw, Poland

1960
30° Biennale di Venezia, Venice VE, Italy

1964
Museum Fridericianum, Orangerie, Alte Galerie - Kassel, Germany

1967
Expo67 Montréal QC, Canada

1998
Parque Ferial Juan Carlos I - Madrid, Spain

1999
Art Cologne, n° 33 Cologne, Germany

2000
Art Frankfurt - Die europäische Messe für junge Kunst, n° 12 Frankfurt, Germany

2001
Paris Expo - Porte de Versailles - Paris, France
Miami Beach Convention Center - Miami Beach FL, United States
Palazzo del Lavoro - Turin TO, Italy
Quartiere Fieristico - Bologna BO, Italy

2003
Parc des expositions du Wacken - Strasbourg, France

2004
Art 35 Basel, Messe Basel - Basel BS, Switzerland
Paris Expo - Porte de Versailles - Paris, France

For the latest exhibitions of the artist, please see the Appointments' Archive