This exhibition will display recent works that encapsulate what the Italian artist is most recognized for: fragmented compositions in which, alike stages, anonymous and highly stylised figures inhabit minimal landscapes. In Adami’s works form is distilled to lines, and colour painted in as musical background. The paintings in Postlude are akin to philosophical riddles, the titles or his writings on the canvas serving as keys.
Born 1935 in Bologna, Valerio Adami followed an academic training under Carena in Venice, then 5 years under Funi in Brera, where he spent long hours studying classical models. A crucial meeting with Kokoshka in Venice followed by a trip to Paris in 1952 where he met Matta and Lam, then to London in 1956, encountering Scott and Bacon, submerged him into the Avant-garde scene. In 1966, the artist left for the USA and Latin America, where he befriended the Mexican writer Carlos Fuentes and poet Octavio Paz. Throughout the years, Adami has been the painter of political and mythological themes and the commemorator of cultural heroes such as Nietzsche, Freud, Joyce, or Hesse. His friendship with the philosopher Jacques Derrida, led him to design a poster for Glas (1975), which became the icon of deconstructionism. Adami is today the painter of new mythologies, conjugating past with present, philosophy and history, music and poetry.
But the successive periods do not account for his personal development; he has since 1985 stopped dating his paintings to refute any kind of chronology in his work. His only aim now is to put in his compositions what he will never be able to paint again.
Adami’s work is represented in most major public collections including the Museum of Modern Art of Paris, Milan, Rome, Minneapolis, Caracas, Pittsburgh, New York and Tel Aviv. Many museums have held retrospectives of his work including the Musée d’Art Moderne (1970) and Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris (1985), IVAM Centre Julio Gonzalez in Valencia (1990), Museum of Art of Tel Aviv, Israel (1992) and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Lisbon (2006).
Adami works today from his studios in Paris, Monte-Carlo and Meina, in Italy, where he established his Foundazione Europea del Disegno in 1998.