contemporary art

Umberto Mariani

Italy 1936

Umberto Mariani
Umberto Mariani
December 30, 2014

Umberto Mariani is an Italian Post-War multimedia artist whose work displays a special affinity to the folds of textiles.

Mariani was born in Italy in 1936. He graduated from the Accademia di Brera under Achille Funi with honors. Although he studied the masters of the Romantic period and was surrounded with the emerging movements of Pop Art and Surrealism, the most profound influences he drew his style were the Classical Greek statues that he grew up observing on the streets of Italy. Mariani’s fascination with the delicate folds of fabric carved out of the hard white marble would later develop into a desire to manipulate the material.

Best known for his complex draperies on irregular-shaped canvases, his work explores illusions of light and shadow created within the folds of fabric. After an expressionistic phase inspired by Constant Permeke, Umberto Mariani develops a personal artistic code between Pop-art and Surrealism. He picked up his first projects doing monumental narrative work for the St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican as well as mosaics and frescos for the St. Antony Sanctuary in Rome during the 1960s. In the 1970s he was widely exhibited in Europe at institutions such as the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels and the Musée Moderne in Paris. New multidimensional canvas works combine intricate drapery over elusive lead sheets, where the fabric both serves the purpose of concealing a mysterious object beneath, while also evoking its presence.

Umberto Mariani has had several gallery and museum exhibitions, including at the Opera Gallery, Hong Kong and at the Opera Gallery, Monaco. Numerous works by the artist have been sold at auction, including Taghelmoust (il velo) sold at Matsart Auctioneers & Appraisers ‘Impressionist, Modern & Contemporary Fine Art’ in 2014 for $106,250.

He lives and works in Milan, Italy.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2015Umberto Mariani – PiombiJerome Zodo Contemporary, MilanSolo
2015RigorismoUnix Gallery, New YorkGroup
2015MiArtLattuada Studio at MiArt, MiamiGroup
2015PAD ParisOpera Gallery at PAD, ParisGroup
2014Monochromes ItaliensOpera Gallery, Monaco, Monaco, MonacoGroup
2014ArtissimaTorino, ItalyGroup
2013AndanteOpera Gallery, Hong Kong, Hong KongGroup
2013La donazione Spagna BelloraMuseo del Novecento, Civici Musei di Milano, MilanGroup
2011TresartesProgettoarte-ELM, MilanGroup
2010Gli anni 70Progettoarte-ELM, MilanGroup
2009Umberto MarianiGlobArt Gallery, Acqui TermeSolo
2009Umberto Mariani – TritticiProgettoarte-ELM, MilanSolo
2009Art of Live - for 5 000 €La Triennale di Milano, Design Museum, MilanGroup
2009G.N.S.P. (Great Names Small Prices)Artiscope, BrusselsGroup
2005Collezione 2005Grossetti Arte Contemporanea, MilanGroup
2005XIV Quadriennale di RomaGalleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna (GNAM), RomeGroup
2004Accelerato Torino-NapoliArtiscope, BrusselsGroup
2000Omaggio a PaolaArtiscope, BrusselsGroup
1996Avoir 30 ans...c'est GraffMusée d´art contemporain de Montréal, Montreal, QCGroup
1986Graff 1966-1986Musée d´art contemporain de Montréal, Montreal, QCGroup