Mimmo Paladino, Italian (1948 - )

Italian artist, Mimmo Paladino was born in Paduli, Benevento in 1948. He studied at Liceo artistico di Benevento from 1964-68. In 1977 Paladino was given his first one-man show. He traveled to Brazil a number of times from 1982-1985. In 1985, Paladino had a retrospective exhibition at the Lenbachhause, Munich. He also installed a permanent installation in his hometown at the Il Chiostro di San Domenico in Benvento. He continues to work both in Benvento and Milan.

In the late 1970s he was, along with Sandro Chia, Francesco Clemente, Enxo Cucchi and Nicola de Maria, original members of the "transavanguardia", a movement that was largely an Expressionist revival. He was soon having one-man shows in galleries and museums in Europe and New York City. Despite all the early attention, Paladino stayed in Italy, bought a bigger car and taught at the same art school that he had attended as a child.

In 1984, amid the olive groves and tobacco fields of his native Paduli, Paladino built a sprawling house and painted it a pale yellow. With his wife, Imma and their daughter Ginestre, he divides his time between this house and an apartment in Milan. He claims his life is not physical, he does not play sports. Once he has finished a painting, it is over for him.

There are many dimensions to Paladino, whose passions include poetry and music. He favors contemporary composers and is a great admirer of Glenn Gould. He also had designed furniture, but his most widely recognized claim to design fame is his "Swatch" watch.

In 2001, the general catalogue of his graphic work was published (Opera Grafica 1974-2001), curated by Enzo di Martino, for Art of this Century, New York – Paris. The Centro d'Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci, Prato, granted him the most comprehensive retrospective exhibition ever organised by an Italian museum, curated by Bruno Corà (2002).

In 2003, together with Sandro Chia, Francesco Clemente, Enzo Cucchi, and Nicola de Maria, he put on "Transavanguardia 1979-1985" at the Castello di Rivoli Museo di Arte Contemporanea, curated by Ida Gianelli. He also put on personal exhibitions at the Reggia di Caserta, and in Galleria Scognamiglio in Naples and Galleria Valentina Bonomo, Rome (2004). He presented a travelling exhibition on Pinocchio at modern art museums across eight Japanese cities, in Venice's seventeenth-century Scola dei Battioro and then at the Museo Civico di Udine, the Museo di Palazzo Pio a Carpi and in Rotterdam (2004–2006).

In 2004, he created the doors for the Padre Pio church in San Giovanni Rotondo, designed by Renzo Piano. In 2005 he exhibited at the Museum der Moderne Rupertinum in Salzburg, and the Loggetta Lombardesca in Ravenna put on "Paladino in Scena", a major exhibition of his theatre work, curated by Claudio Spadoni. In June that year, he put on an exhibition of major sculptures at the Galleria Internazionale d'Arte Moderna Ca’ Pesaro in Venice, curated by Enzo di Martino, for the Biennale.

At the end of 2005, he put on a major exhibition dedicated to Cervantes’ Don Quixote, featuring paintings, sculptures, drawings and a film, at the Museo Capodimonte in Naples. As requested by Marco Müller, the film was presented at the 2006 Venice Film Festival, with great success. That year, he also created the doors for the San Giovanni Battista church in Lecce (designed by Franco Purini), concluded the intervention in piazza dei Conti Guidi, in Vinci, and exhibited at the Cardi and Christian Stein Gallery in Milan, and the Waddington Gallery in London.

In 2007, he produced two theatre set designs for OEdipus Rex and Cavalleria rusticana, for the Teatro Regio in Turin, and put on a personal exhibition at the Galleria Civica in Modena. In 2008 he presented a major installation at the Museo dell’Ara Pacis in Rome, set to music by Brian Eno. That year, the University of Lugano granted him a honoris causa degree in Architecture. In June 2008, "Porta di Lampedusa - Porta d'Europa", an important monument in memory of migrants deceased at sea, was inaugurated.

In 2009, a group of his sculptures was shown "en plein air" in Orta San Giulio, Lake of Orta, in a show curated by Flavio Arensi; among the various works it was a horse floating to the shore in front of Villa Bossi, the Town Hall. On 10 April the same year he installed a big blue horse over four metres high (13 feet) at the Amphitheatre of Vittoriale degli Italiani di Gardone Riviera (BS), house-museum of the novelist Gabriele D'Annunzio.

He is interested in the relationship between visual art and sound and has worked with the sound artist Brian Eno on the installation I Dormienti for the Roundhouse, London in 1999 and on a piece for the Ara Pacis Museum in Rome in 2008.

Paladino currently lives and works in Rome and Paduli.


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1948 Born: Paduli, Italy (December 18)
1968 Studied Art at Liceo artistico di Benevento
1999 Honorary member of the Royal Academy of Arts, London
Publication of EN DE RE by Emilio Mazzoli of Moderna, with text by Achille Bonita Oliva
Retrospective exhibition in the Lenbachhaus, Munich
Permanent installation, il chiostro di San Domenico, Benevento
Became the first contemporary Italian artist to be exhibited in Beijing, China
Selected Exhibitions
2003 Bronze and Iron Sculpture 1987-2000, Waddington Galleries, London - solo
2002 - 2003 Centro per l’arte contemporanea Luigi Pecci, Prato- solo
2002 Galleria Valentina Bonomo, Rome, Italy - solo
2001 Print Retrospective, Alan Cristea Gallery, London - solo
2001 Galerie Christian Stein, Milan - solo
1999 Alan Cristea Gallery, London- solo
1999 South London Gallery, London- solo
1999 Roundhouse (with Brian Eno), London- solo
1997 Alan Cristea Gallery, London- solo
1997 Waddington Galleries, London- solo
1995 Alan Cristea Gallery, London
1995 Museo Diego Aragona Pignatelli Cortes, Naples, Italy- solo
1994 Waddington Galleries, London- solo
1993 Forte di Belvedere, Florence, Italy- solo
1992 Museu de Gravura, Curitibia- solo
1992 Museu de Arte Moderna, Belo Horizonte- solo
1992 Museu de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro-solo
1992 Convento San Domenico, Benevento-solo
1992 Galleria Gian Enzo Sperone, FIAC, Paris- solo
1992 Mimmo Paladino, Gravuras, Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo, Brazil- solo
1991 Duson Gallery & Ana Gallery, Seoul Art Center, Seoul, Korea- solo
1991 Galerie Papierski, Paris, France- solo
1991 Waddington Graphics, London - solo
1991 Waddington Galleries, London / Sperone Westwater, New York- solo
1991 Marian Locks Gallery, Philadelphia, PA- solo
1991 Musees Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique Art Modern, Brussels- solo
1991 Galerie Bernd Kluser, Munich - solo
1990 Galleri Lars Bohman, Stockholm- solo
1990 Galleria Bernd Kluser, Munich- solo
1989 Lluc Fluxa Galeria d' Art, Palma, Mallorca- solo
1989 Sperone Westwater, New York- solo
1989 Palais des Beaux-Arts Brussels- solo
1988 Galleria Gian Enzo Sperone, Rome
1988 Waddington Galleries, London - solo
1988 Richard Gray Gallery, Chicago - solo
1988 Evelyn Aimis Fine Art, Toronto, Canada- solo
1988 Galleri Boibrino, Stockholm- solo
1987 Fuji Television Gallery, Tokyo- solo
1987 Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Salzburg - solo
1987 Greg Kucera Gallery, Seattle, Washington - solo
1986 Richard Gray Gallery, Chicago- solo
1986 Galerie Bernd Kluser, Munich- solo
1986 Sperone Westwater, New York- solo
1986 James Corcoran Gallery, Los Angeles - solo
1986 Waddington Graphics, London - solo
1986 Dolan/Maxwell Gallery, Philadelphia- solo
1986 Waddington & Gorce, Montreal, Canada - solo
1986 Waddington & Shiell Galleries, Toronto, Canada - solo
1985 Richard Gray Gallery, Chicago - solo
1985 Sperone Westwater, New York- solo
1985 Galerie Bernd Kluser, Munich- solo
1985 Dolan/Maxwell Gallery, Philadelphia,PA - solo
1984 Waddington Galleries, London -solo
1984 Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Salzburg - solo

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