Emilio Vedova (b.1919, Venice Italy) Screenprint lithograph. Offset lithograph in black and yellow on wove paper.
Artist signed in marker across back back,
Screenprint newspaper collage of political events around 1968 uprisings.
Emilio Vedova (9 August 1919 – 25 October 2006) was a modern Italian painter, considered one of the most important to emerge from his country's artistic scene, Arte Informale.
Vedova was born in Venice into a working-class family. His artisan roots came from his house-painting father. Emilio began working at a young age, primarily in a factory. Later he got a job in a photography and restoration studio.
He was primarily a self-taught artist aside from a few night classes. After an initial formative experience with Expressionism and a foray into Cubism he settled into Abstraction, he joined the group "Corrente" (1942–43), during the second world war, which included other artists such as Renato Guttuso and Renato Birolli. He recorded his experience in his drawings. His expressionistic abstract paintings offer emphatic gestures and sweeping paint not unlike those of de Kooning and Franz Kline in the US and Karl Appel and Sonderborg in Europe but with a lightness that calls to mind similar works by second generation American abstract painters like Joan Mitchell and Michael Goldberg. Even more surprising, Vedova's lyrical handling of raw elements of primitivism prefigures and often resembles the work of Basquiat. And Vedova's collaged political images and text together with his three dimensional abstract combines call to mind the early work Robert Rauschenberg. During this time he also participated in the Italian resistance movement. Vedova returned to Venice towards the end of the war and played a key role in the post-war Italian art movement, which was connecting to the European avant-garde. His work became much more abstract. His images represented the apprehension of the time, with his geometric shapes and color palette. In 1946 he co-signed the manifesto "Beyond Guernica" which included several Italian artists who were to become famous. In 1947 Vedova founded Fronte Nuovo delle Arti.
In 1951, Vedova exhibited his first solo show in the United States at the Catherine Viviano Gallery located in New York. This show was where he began to attract big name collectors, such as Peggy Guggenheim. IIn 1952 he became a member of the influential and more avant garde Gruppo degli Otto (Afro, Birolli, Corpora, Santomaso, Morlotti, Vedova, Moreni and Turcato), organised by the critic Lionello Venturi, which exhibited at the Venice Biennial. This show is known to have begun the art movement recognized as Arte Informale. His work exerted a significant influence on the Arte Povera group.
He later established a fruitful cooperation with composer Luigi Nono, designing sets and costumes for the opera Intolleranza 1960. In 1984 he designed a highly original light setting for Nono's opera Prometeo at La Fenice. Nono dedicated his first work for magnetic tape Omaggio a Vedova (1960) to Vedova.
Vedova had a number of gallery and museum exhibitions, at places like the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna in Rome and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice. His work has proven to be very successful in auctions.
Vedova spent most of his life in Venice, where he taught at the Accademia di Belle Arti.
Known primarily for his expressionistic work, Emilio Vedova is one of Italy's most renowned artists among international circles. He is regarded as one of the main representatives of Italian Informel painting in the 1950s and 1960s.
He participated in the 25th Venice Biennale in 1940 when the work of Jackson Pollack, Arshile Gorky and Willem de Kooning appeared at the United States pavilion there.
Numerous solo shows followed for Vedova in all of major cities in Italy, in New York at the Viviano Gallery, and Munich at the Gallery Gunter Franke. Vedova also participated in the Venice Biennales and in many exhibitions across Italy, Germany, France and South America. His travels took him to Paris, Brazil, Vienna, Germany and the United States.
Between 1950 and 1953, after a period dominated by geometric forms, Vedova turned to more expressionist, gestural painting associated with the Informal school.
During the late 1950s Vedova sought to overcome the barriers of painting with various experiments and sought to open it to new media.
In 1955, 1959 and 1982 Vedova participated in Documenta.
He executed his first lithographs in 1958.
In the 1960s Emilio Vedova broke up the square form of paintings. Thus ensued the Plurimo-paintings-folding spatial frames of hinged wooden boards painted on all sides deploying various styles.
Several "Plurimo" series followed, integrating space, light and motion.
From 1965 to 1969 and in 1988, he succeeded Oskar Kokoshchka as Director of the Internationale Sommerakademie in Salzburg.
Sao Paulo Biennale
Guggenheim International Award, 1956.
Grand Prize for Painting at the 30th Biennale in Venice, 1960
Solomon R. Guggenheim Award for Italy
Cavalier of the Republic of Italy by President Oscar Luigi Scalfano in 1996.
Golden Lion Award for the Contribution to Contemporary Art (Agnes Martin awarded the same) New School International Tour, 97.
Succeeded Oskar Kokoshchka as Director of the Internationale Sommerakademie in 1965-69 and 1988, Salzburg.
Accademia di Belle Arti, Venice, 1975-1986
Lecture tours in the United States 1965 and 1983
National Gallery of Modern Art, Rome;
Peggy Guggenheim Foundation, Venice;
Hamburger Kunsthalle, Germany;
Stedeliijk Museum, Amsterdam; and the Art Museum,
Princeton University, New Jersey, et al.
Venice Biennales, 1940/47/48/60, et al.
1st Sao Paolo Biennale, Brazil Prize for Young Painters
Catherine Viviano Gallery, New York, 1951
Gruppo Degli Otto, organized by Lionello Venture, 1952
Solo Exhibition, Muzeume Naradowe, Poznan, Poland, 1958.
Solo Exhibition, Vitalita Nell'Arte, created by Carlo Scarpa, Palazzo Grassi, Venice, 1959
Vitalite Nell'Arte travels to Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, 1959
Kassel Document, 1955/59/64/82, et al.
Retrospective of 280 works, The Museo Correr in Venice, 1984
TThe Bayrische Staatsgemäldesammlung in Munich, 1985.
The Guggenheim Museum
Chelsea Art Museum in New York.
Italian Culture Institute of New York, in conjunction with the Italian Cultural Institutes of Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Toronto: Paintings, mixed media, drawings and engravings, 2006
In 1951 at the first São Paulo Biennial, he was awarded the prize for young painters.
In 1956 he won a Guggenheim International award.
In 1960 at the Venice Biennale, he received the Grand Prize for painting.