Piero Dorazio

(1927 Rome, Italy – 2005 Todi, Italy)

Piero Dorazio was born in June 1927, in Rome.

After brief studies in architecture, from 1945 to 1951, he quickly turned to the visual arts, particularly painting. 

In 1947 he co-founded, together with Pietro Consagra, Achille Perilli, Carla Accardi and Giulio Turcato the group Forma 1, which produced the "Manifesto del Formalismo-Forma 1". Strongly inspired by Futurism and expressing political views, the manifesto contrasted with the ideals of Socialist Realism, as illustrated by Renato Guttuso. This period led Dorazio to fully embrace abstract art, and served as a point of reference for the rest of his career.

 Moreover, in 1947 Dorazio was awarded a scholarship to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, where he spent a year and met Severini, Braque, Vantongerloo, Pevsner, Arp, Sonia Delaunay, Le Corbusier and other prominent artists. 

In 1952 he promoted the international foundation Origine in Rome, which published the periodical "Arti Visive". In 1953 he travelled to the United States, where he met Motherwell, Rothko, Kiesler, Kline and Clement Greenberg, and gave his first solo shows at the Wittenborn One-Wall Gallery and the Rose Fried Gallery in New York. After returning to Rome in 1954 he periodically travelled throughout Europe. 

In 1957-58, inspired by Balla’s work on Divisionism, Dorazio began creating meshes, overlapping chromatic structures reinventing both space and surface. In the same year he had his first solo show in Rome, at the Galleria La Tartaruga.

During the 60s he dedicated himself to teaching at the Graduate School of Fine Arts at the University of Pennsylvania. In this period, he created the first compositions of ink ribbons in his studio in New York, which dominated his work henceforth. In 1962, he was invited to join the Group Zero, taking part in numerous exhibitions and publications, and in 1965, he was present in the exhibition "The Responsive Eye at MoMA in New York".

In 1966, he held a second solo exhibition at the Venice Biennale. During the following years he had private and public commissions such the creation of mosaics in the subway stations of Rome.

After his return to Italy in 1974 Dorazio moved to the former romanic cloister of Todi in Umbria where he was living until his death in 2005.


He participated at the major international shows, such as the Venice Biennale, where he exhibited in 1960, 1966 and 1988. 

His paintings are held in the most important collection worldwide such as the Art Institute of Chicago; The Museum of Modern Art (MoMa), New York; the Tate Gallery, London; the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice; and the National Gallery of Art,Washington, D.C.

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