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London
  • Lusco

    Oil on canvas

    1981

    70 x 90 cm

  • Legato

    Oil on canvas

    1968

    85 x 110 cm

  • Hami

    1996

    Oil on canvas

    40 x 60 cm

Piero Dorazio was born in Rome in 1927, where he grew up and studied. He took up painting in 1942, and after World War II he attended the architecture courses at the University of Rome. In this period Dorazio was deeply involved with the artistic and cultural life in his country. He was co-founder of the Gruppo Ariete, Gruppo Arte Sociale, and then Forma 1 in 1947, an artistic association that played a key role in reshaping Italian art after Fascism. The group strongly rejected the growing identification between figurative art and left-wing art, and proclaimed the possibility of a “marxist abstraction”. It was a strong affirmation as in the past the most relevant movement of abstract art in Italy, Futurism, had always been related to fascist tendencies. In 1950, Dorazio, along with the artists Achille Perilli and Mino Guerrini, helped founding L’Age d’Or, a bookstore/gallery space dedicated to abstract art. In 1951, he promoted with Alberto Burri, Ettore Colla and others the group Origine (which he left in 1954), to further investigate the possibilities of Italian abstract art. In 1953, as a representative of Italy, he travelled for the first time to the United States to participate in the International Summer Seminar at Harvard University. That fall, he moved to New York City and stayed through 1954. In October that year, Dorazio had his first solo exhibition at George Wittenborn’s One-Wall Gallery. In 1955, he published La Fantasia Dell’Arte Nella Vita Moderna, a review of modern art in Italy. The book is impregnated by optimistic and progressive beliefs regarding the future of the world and the positive role that abstract art would play to enrich our civilisation. In 1959, he was invited to teach at the Graduate School of Fine Arts program at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design. He taught painting from 1960-1969, one semester a year, splitting his time between the United States and Italy. In 1961, he was awarded the Kandinskij Prize in Paris. In 1970, he returned to live and work full time in Rome, and then in 1974 he moved his studio from Rome to Umbria, near Todi. He died in Perugia in 2005.