Valerio Adami Biography

Valerio Adami is an Italian painter and printmaker known for his fragmented scenes that allude to literary themes. Influenced by British and American Pop art and a little by French Cloisonnism, Adami's works obliquely suggest parts of figurative images using shapes of flat, saturated colour bordered by black lines.

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His work was seen as a foil to Abstract Expressionism, being regarded as a form of Neo-Figuration. Because of his use of recognisable imagery, Adami is linked to the Narrative Figuration (French Pop) movement, popular in France in the 1960s with artists like Jacques Monory, Erró, and Gérard Schlossler.

Early Years

Raised in Bologna, Adami studied drawing and painting at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera in Milan (1951—1954) when he was only 16, after having previously received encouragement from Oskar Kokoschka in Venice. Adami then went to Paris in 1955, where he met Wilfredo Lam and Roberto Matta, and initially became interested in Surrealism and Expressionism.

Valerio Adami Artworks

Valerio Adami's works are primarily inspired by French Cloisonnism and Pop artists, especially Roy Lichtenstein with his interest in comics and advertisements. In 1964, Adami turned to a graphic style, no longer modulating his colours but making them saturated within flat planes to create disturbing images like disconnected body parts in domestic interiors.

With their intensely contrasting hues and acute angles, the paintings have a shattered, prismatic quality while still pertaining to a narrative, fable, or myth. His cartoon-like compositions start off as drawings based on banal media photographs found in newspapers or magazines, and usually have a satirical edge.

Adami has also incorporated portraits of various intellectuals in his works. These include giant figures in literature, music, history, art, and philosophy, attracting in Adami's treatment much attention from novelists and philosophers such as Italo Calvino and Jacques Derrida.

Typical examples of Adami paintings include Il gilet di Lenine (1972), Interno con figura di donna e poltrona (1968/1969), Bedroom Scene (1969), Club Privato (Momento) Piccola Gimnastica da Camera, 1970 (1970).

Prints

Adami makes a great many lithographs, screen prints, and posters. These are often deliberately unsigned, but still popular.

Examples include Derrière le Miroir Adami (1970), The Red Guard (1974), and The Circus (1990).

Exhibitions

Valerio Adami has been the subject of both solo and group exhibitions, including four retrospectives in the 1980s and 90s in Paris, Tel Aviv, Buenos Aires, and Florida. In 1968 and 1986 he contributed to the Venice Biennale, and in 1964, to documenta III in Kassel.

Solo exhibitions include VALERIO ADAMI — Immagine e pensiero, Dep Art Gallery, Milan (2022); Valerio Adami: The Eighties, Templon, Paris (2019); Valerio Adami, Templon, Brussels (2016); Valerio Adami — Les années 60, Galerie Laurent Strouk, Paris (2012).

Group exhibitions include Estampes, Galerie Christiane Vallé, Clermont-Ferrand, France (2021); NARRATIVE FIGURATION 60s—70s, Richard Taittinger Gallery, New York (2021); PopUp Paris goes virtual, Galerie GKM, Paris (2020); Behind the Mirror, Eames Fine Art, London (2019).

Collections

Adami's work is held in the collections of Centre Pompidou, Paris; Museo d'Arte Moderna, Rome; and Museum of Modern Art, New York.

John Hurrell | Ocula | 2022

Valerio Adami
featured artworks

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Quadri nel paesaggio by Valerio Adami contemporary artwork painting
Valerio Adami Quadri nel paesaggio, 2008 Acrylic on canvas
198 x 147 cm
Dep Art Gallery Request Price & Availability
Quadri nel paesaggio (figure insolite) by Valerio Adami contemporary artwork painting
Valerio Adami Quadri nel paesaggio (figure insolite), 2008 Watercolor on paper
81.5 x 100.5 x 4 cm
Dep Art Gallery Request Price & Availability
Mnemosine machine a ecrire et violon by Valerio Adami contemporary artwork painting
Valerio Adami Mnemosine machine a ecrire et violon, 1987 Acrylic on canvas
225 x 300 cm
Dep Art Gallery Request Price & Availability
Fauno by Valerio Adami contemporary artwork painting
Valerio Adami Fauno, 2012 Acrylic on canvas
198 x 147 cm
Dep Art Gallery Request Price & Availability
TV in casa (la sera) by Valerio Adami contemporary artwork painting
Valerio Adami TV in casa (la sera), 2022 Acrylic on canvas
162 x 130 cm
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Templon
Cane e padrone by Valerio Adami contemporary artwork painting
Valerio Adami Cane e padrone, 2022 Acrylic on canvas
162 x 130 cm
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Templon
Down-Town by Valerio Adami contemporary artwork painting
Valerio Adami Down-Town, 2022 Acrylic on canvas
162 x 130 cm
Templon Request Price & Availability
L'incantesimo del lago by Valerio Adami contemporary artwork painting
Valerio Adami L'incantesimo del lago, 1984 Acrylic on canvas
198 x 263 cm
Templon Request Price & Availability
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Valerio Adami
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Represented by these
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Templon contemporary art gallery in 30 rue Beaubourg, Paris, France
Templon New York, Paris, Brussels
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