Emilio Vedova

  • Born 1919 in Venice, Italy
  • Died 2006 in Venice, Italy

Emilio Vedova was a modernist painter and a pioneer in Italy’s art informel movement. In the mid-1930s he spent time in Rome and Florence. He joined the Milanese anti-Fascist artists’ association Corrente in 1942, and from 1944 to 1945 he worked for the Italian resistance. In 1946 he signed the “Al di là di Guernica" (Beyond Guernica) manifesto and co-founded the Nuova Secessione Italiana (New Italian Secession) in Venice. Vedova first exhibited in the Venice Biennale in 1948, and later received the Grand Prize for Painting (1960) and the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement (1997). In the early 1950s his style shifted from geometric abstraction to a spontaneous, gestural informalism. His series include “Scontro di situazioni” (Collision of Situations), “Ciclo della Protesta” (Protest Cycle), and “Cicli della Natura” (Cycles of Nature). His first solo show outside Italy was at the Catherine Viviano Gallery, New York (1951). In 1960 Vedova designed lighting and costumes for Luigi Nono’s opera Intolleranza ’60. He created his first “Plurimi” (Many), freestanding, hinged sculpture-paintings made of wooden panels and metal frameworks in the following year. His Absurdes Berliner Tagebuch ’64 (Absurd Berlin Diary '64) was first shown at Documenta, Kassel (1964). Vedova received many prizes, including the Guggenheim International Award (1956).

Artworks by Emilio Vedova in the exhibition