(b Catanzaro, Oct 17, 1918; d Milan, Jan 8, 2006).
Italian painter and décollagist. He studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Naples and in 1945 moved to Rome, where he produced oil paintings in an Expressionist manner. In 1948 he adopted an abstract geometric idiom, which he rejected on returning to Italy in 1952 after spending a year on a scholarship at the University of Missouri at Kansas City. Abandoning painting, he devoted himself first to phonetic poems composed of inarticulate, onomatopoeic sounds, and from 1954 to a new medium known as Décollage: having eliminated paint tubes and brushes, he now created pictures from the layered textures and coloured shapes of commercial posters torn from city walls. The first such works, for example A Little Above (640×840 mm, 1954; see Hunter, p. 32), were essentially abstract. Encouraged by the Italian critic Emilio Villa, in April 1955 he took part in Esposizione d’arte attuale, a group exhibition held in a barge on the Tiber in Rome, which led to his being labelled a neo-Dadaist. In the same year he held a one-man show at the Galleria del Naviglio in Milan, followed by exhibitions in Venice, London and Zurich, and in ...