Artist biography

Italian painter, sculptor, printmaker and draughtsman. He attended the Liceo Artistico di Benevento from 1964 to 1968. In the early 1970s he concentrated on drawing, developing much of the imagery that later appeared in his paintings. He had his first solo exhibitions in 1976 at the galleries D'Arte Duemila, Bologna, and Nuovi Strumenti, Brescia. He moved to Milan in 1977, and during the late 1970s he produced mostly monochrome paintings in blue, red or yellow, often incorporating found objects. In 1980 he was associated by the critic Achille Bonito Oliva with the ‘Transavanguardia' (It.: ‘beyond the avant-garde') painters Sandro Chia, Francesco Clemente, Enzo Cucchi and Nicola De Maria. He rapidly developed an allegorical figurative style, drawing on imagery from Christianity and Classical mythology, while also being influenced by ancient Egyptian, tribal and modern art. He created enigmatic archaic figures, as in an untitled stone sculpture (1985; Canberra, N.G.) depicting a male carrying a horn-shaped vessel, while such works as the painting Flayed (1986; Canberra, N.G.) exemplify his preoccupation with the themes of death and sacrifice. Paladino's technical versatility also extended to various forms of printmaking (from 1980), including etching, linocut and aquatint.

Bibliography
Mimmo Paladino: Recent Painting and Sculpture, 1982–86 (exh. cat. by M. A. Crutchfield, Richmond, VA, Mus. F.A., 1986)

CHRISTOPHER MASTERS

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