Valerio-Nicolai, photo credits

Valerio Nicolai

Italy 1988

Installation, Painting

Valerio Nicolai
Valerio Nicolai
May 17, 2016

Particularly interested in the subject, its concreteness, existence in form, the origin and eventual transformation, Valerio Nicolai’s approach strives to abstract it from its traditional purpose. He pays the most attention on gesture, the compound of materials, their chemical and physical effect. Taking an introspective discourse, his method alienates the sense of belonging and the essential meaning of a gesture. The material he uses already contain its own story and his artworks emerge as the result of an exchange of questions and answers between the artist and his creation. Nicolai’s main focus is on touch, gesture and movement and the work of art itself.

Valerio Nicolai - Untitled, 2015, Image copyright artist
Valerio Nicolai – Untitled, 2015, Image © artist

Education and Experience

Nicolai is born in Gorizia, Italy. In 2012, he received his Postgraduate Diploma in Painting at the Academy of Fine Arts, Venice and the next year he was awarded a Study Grant at the Bevilacqua La Masa Foundation. His work has been exhibited at numerous galleries and institutions, including Treti galaxie, Turin, Italy, Clima gallery, Milan. Nicolai tempts the limits of pictorial composition, extending it beyond known limits through his installations that constantly question their structure. For the exhibition Permanent Transformation of a Magician in Ant, his painted canvases completely covered the floor with the aim of creating shapes which could be attractive to the birds.

He creates shapes which could be attractive to the birds

Valerio Nicolai - Permanent Transformation Of A Magician In Ant (installation view), 2016 , Image copyright Sebastiano Pellion Di Persano
Valerio Nicolai – Permanent Transformation Of A Magician In Ant (installation view), 2016 , Image copyright Sebastiano Pellion Di Persano

Magician Performance and the Birds Fly

Inspired by the shape of nests and bird houses, his paintings and sculptures make an integral part of the pictorial composition. The main and unexpected protagonists of the artwork are the birds that are free to fly around, resting on the canvases and sculptures. The central piece that gives the title to the exhibition is put under the light spot where magician transforms himself into an ant. Through his mental journeys, the fantastic stories are born, provoking the viewer to question is the reality turned into fantasy or imagination transported into the real world.

Valerio Nicolai - Reflected, 2011, photo via
Valerio Nicolai – Reflected, 2011, photo via

In a Constant Search for a New Logics

Trying to find the clues, Nicolai strives to create the new realms that refer to the search for other logics. His art complements like a puzzle of images that uncover the secrets hidden within the work. In a constant search and great desire to never find the end, he highlights mental passages, conjunctions and continuous references between multiple thoughts and memories, but also between objects and time. Nicolai feel the obligation to enable the visibility of the dialogues that exist inside him and that are mirrored in his works.

Valerio Nicolai lives and works in Venice

Featured image: Valerio Nicolai, photo credits
All images used for illustrative purpose only

YearExhibition titleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2016Permanent Transformation of a Magician in AntTreti Galaxie, TurinSolo
2012Thomas Braida, Valerio Nicolai, Lo sbocco romantico Furini Arte Contemporanea, RomaDuo
2012Falso Complesso dei SS. Cosma e Damiano, Giudecca, VeneziaGroup
2012Falansterio Spazio Morris, Milano Group
2012Arrivi e Partenze 2012: Mediterraneo Corte della Mole Vanvitelliana, Ancona Group
2012Porta Pia Open Accademy in Residence Ljudmilla Socci, Ancona Group
2012Come una bestia feroceCanneto sull' Oglio, Mantova Group
2012Charte Blanche 6, Il pittore che fuggiva il vento Unicredit Studio, Milano Group
2011 Posso errare, ma non di core Galleria Civica d'Arte Contemporanea, Monfalcone, Gorizia Group
2011About Painting Galleria Metropolitana, Gorizia Group
2011Grassroots Magazzino del Sale n.3, Venezia Group
2011The Gentlemen of Verona Palazzo Forti, Verona Group
2011Lords of DirtGalleria UGM Umetnostna Galerija Maribor, Slovenia Group
201195ma Collettiva Giovani Artisti Galleria di Piazza San Marco, VeneziaGroup
2011Vincitore della borsa di studio assegnata Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa Group
2010Workshop: laboratorio aperto di pittura e disegnoMagazzino del Sale n.3, Venezia Group
2010Magazzini del Sale n.3, Venezia Group
2010Non totalmente immemori, né completamente nudiGalleria Civica d' Arte Contemporanea, Monfalcone, Gorizia Group
201094ma Collettiva Giovani ArtistiGalleria di Piazza San Marco, Venezia Group
2009Workshop Crossing. Nuove figure 3 Venezia Group
2009Atelier F, mostra finale del laboratorio di pitturaAccademia di Belle Arti, VeneziaSolo