Gianfranco Pardi

(1933 – 2012, in Milan, Italy)

Gianfranco Pardi was born in 1933 in Milan. In 1959, he held his first solo exhibition in Brescia, at Galleria Alberti, and the following year, his work was presented by Galleria Colonna in Milan. Since then, his art has been exhibited in museums, galleries and biennials all over the world. In 1986, Pardi participated in a solo exhibition at the Venice Biennale, the Milan Triennale and the Rome Quadriennale. In 1998, the Palazzo Reale in Milan housed a solo exhibition of his works. In 1999, a series of major exhibitions were organised in Germany at the Kunstverein in Frankfurt, the Kunstmuseum in Bochum, and the Kulturhistorisches Museum in Stralsund. Over the course of his career, Pardi produced numerous sculptures for both public and private spaces, and his work has been included I several public collections. The year after Pardi’s death in 2012, the Associazione Culturale Gianfranco Pardi was founded in the artist’s memory, with the aim of promoting awareness of his life and oeuvre. Pardi’s artistic research, from its beginning to its very end offers a continuous survey of space and its representation. Through rigorous planning, Pardi integrates the techniques of painting, drawing and sculpture to reveal the dynamics and relationships of form and matter. This process was fundamental to his research, to his architectural studies and to his reinterpretation of some of the historical avant-gardes, such as Abstractionism, Suprematism, Constructivism and Dutch Neoplasticism.


The surfaces of Pardi’s works on canvas became the ‘stage’ on which the geometric design, the diagrams of space, and the patterns of forces, stresses, and tensions through which he conceived the infinite ‘constructive’ and structuring relationships of the work would be played out; not for the purpose of realising the imaginary building, but rather, to explore how painting can grant an image the architectural thought process, the poeticism of inhabiting space. (Bruno Corà, Gianfranco Pardi. Opere 1968–1982. Architetture, Poeticamente, Mousse Publishing, 2016).


In 1967, Pardi began his collaboration with Studio Marconi in Milan, presenting his new artistic production. From this year onward, his reflections on architecture were revealed. Giardino Pensile (Roof Garden), 1968, is emblematic in this sense, focusing on simultaneously defined and imaginary spaces, biomorphic structures, the merging of architectural constructions and natural environments, and details of a vision that is more pictorial than real.  In the early 1970s, Pardi’s investigations focused on the series Architettura (Architecture). In addition to colour, steel bars and metal surfaces made their appearance on the canvas, marking a transgression of the boundaries between painting and sculpture. Sistema (System), 1976, attempts to analyse the representation of a constructed system in relation to the specificities of drawing, painting and sculpture.