The son of an artisan, Emilio Vedova was essentially self-taught as an artist. In the 1930s and '40s he was a member of the group Corrente and in the 1950s was part of the Eight (with Afro, Birolli, Corpora, Moreni, Morlotti, Santomaso and Turcato) and asserted himself as one of the top artists of the European Informel movement. In the 1960s he was active n Berlin and was successful at Kassel Documenta in 1964.
Vedova is best known for his expressionist abstract paintings whose surfaces bear energetic, sweeping strokes of paint, splatters, dribbles and scratches. In 1964-65 while living in Berlin he began to experiment with angular canvases that he combined in a sculptural way. These paintings, called plurimi by the artist, were placed in free-standing arrangements or hung from hooks in the open space of a gallery. These revolutionary paintings functioned as three-dimensional objects that the viewer could step into and around.
Vedova's list of
awards includes prizes from the most auspicious exhibitions in the world,
including the Sao Paolo Biennale, Brazil; the Venice Biennale and the
Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation Award for Italy among many others. He
was named a Cavalier of the Republic of Italy by President Oscar Luigi
Scalfaro in 1996. His work is in the collections of the National Gallery
of Modern Art, Rome; Peggy Guggenheim Foundation, Venice; Hamburger Kunsthalle,
Germany; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; and The Art Museum, Princeton University,
New Jersey, among numerous others.
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