Valerio Adami (Italian, born in Bologna, 1935- ) is an important European artist, who first came to international prominence in the 1960s with Nouvelle Figuration, the French intellectual version of Pop art. Adami’s work is steeped in political, social and moral mythologies.
This exhibition presents a retrospective of more than four decades of work with 23 important paintings from the 1960s to his most recent paintings. Adami’s images embrace themes that have preoccupied the artist for more than 50 years: literature, travels, poetry, music, politics and painting. After more than half a century of working creatively, Adami has evolved his own iconography, an ingenious pictorial language that embraces both past and present, in which strange creatures keep company with famous faces from history: the French Revolutionary politician Robespierre, the author James Joyce and the composer Gustav Mahler. His famous pop art colors and flat forms with their thick black contours evoke the appearance of cartoons. Yet his everyday imagery plays a fundamental role in conveying his many social, philosophical and literary references. Here we see Shakespeare, Nietzsche, Claudel, Derrida in works which develop like poems or reminiscences of a lifetime: hotel rooms, sights of the East, home life, scenes of theater and the street.
With important retrospectives held in Paris at the Centre Georges Pompidou (1985), in Valencia, Spain (1990), Sienna, Italy (1994),Tel Aviv (1997), Buenos Aires (1998), Athens (Frissiras Museum 2004) and Milan (2008), this exhibition marks an important look at the artist’s work. Organized from the collection of the Adami Foundation (Fondo Adami, Fondazione Europea del Disegno).