For Adami, Everything is Allegory
They may look like comic book art, but there is a perturbing sadness to the world that Valerio Adami creates in his large-scale paintings, 23 of which are currently on view until Jan. 9 at the Boca Raton Museum of Art in a retrospective exhibit that spans four decades of the Italian artist’s work.
The exhibit is merely a glimpse into Adami’s vast oeuvre, which has been shaped by global travel and friendships with some of the world’s most notable cultural icons. Adami’s work tells a visual story, allowing him to infuse social commentary in paintings that portray global hotspots such as Israel, India, Cuba, and the post-World War II Europe that seems the underlying theme to most of his work. Each painting is a visual storybook.
“Adami sees around him, in the real world, the world of his visions, a world of metaphors, those evocations from depiction that are replete with ideas beyond depiction,” writes George S. Bolge, the Boca Museum’s executive director. “He assumes all objects are inherently allegorical; ‘moderated’ by him, they become more intensely so.”
Adami was born in 1935 in Bologna, Italy. As a young man, he spent his summer vacations in Venice, where his ideology as an artist was shaped by meetings with prominent artistic figures, including W.H. Auden and Oscar Kokoschka. He went on to study art at the Academia di Brera, first as a draughtsman, but by 1954, he was studying under the tutelage of the then-renowned figurative painter Achille Funi.
Funi’s influences had included Boccioni and the Futurists, whom he later rejected, finally settling on a style influenced heavily by Renaissance masters. Funi’s struggle between the old and the new may have influenced Adami’s rejection of abstract expressionism in favor of a figurative style with abstract elements, which has remained his trademark for the past 40 years. It is decidedly the struggle betwixt modernity and antiquity, and it remains pronounced throughout his work.
Please read the full article at The Palm Beach ArtsPaper.