Born in March 1934, in Abbazia, formerly Istria, now Croatia, to a Venetian family that emigrated there in 1800 and had many cultural bonds with Vienna, after attending the Classical Lyceum in Venice I studied scientific disciplines in Padua, even attempting research work after graduating. I was self-taught in my approach to painting, which deep down I loved less than poetry and literature, but which appeared more “tactile” to me. I was greatly helped in the early Fifties by the Zen philosophy, and by jazz, my lifetime companion. My first oil paintings on canvas, abstracts with a distant reference to the landscape were shown at my first personal exhibition in Padua in 1962; shortly after an exhibition in Vienna, in the Nachst St. Stephan gallery, where Rainer, Nitsch, Wotruba exhibited (my works were red drips and stains) I began my relationship with the Cardazzo galleries, Cavallino (eight one-man shows) and Naviglio (one) galleries.
I began to study and love Anglo-American language and literature when I was just a boy, and this perhaps influenced my travels (it was fundamental to leave Italy at the time), which have always misguidedly excluded the East and the Orient. In the Sixties, my contact and friendship with English artists such as Turnbull, Robyn Denny, John Hoyland, Richard Smith, Manuel Chetcuti, Iain Patterson, and German artists such as Thomas Lenk, Pfahler, Gaul, Geiger, were very important.
I always carry with me memories of Stonehenge and the Scottish prehistoric sites such as Callanish or the Maltese temples, like Hagar Qim. When I began to visit New York, I started my friendship with Michael Goldberg, a brother and a masterly artist, and his wife Lynn Umlauf, and Lucio Pozzi, Marthe Keller, Nick Ghiz: I met and was influenced by Marden, Mangold, Tuttle, Ryman; not to count the jazz musicians and poets.
I began to teach at the age when others quit, and I taught courses or classes, in English naturally, in Great Britain (Sheffield and Norwich), then for many years in the post-graduate courses of New York University, later becoming a professor at the Accademia delle Belle Arti di Venezia. During the next academic year I will teach a course in the History of Contemporary Art at the Università Cà Foscari in Venice. As if to say that the more you understand that you don’t understand, the more they ask you to teach it…
Born in a home in the middle of a forest that overlooked the sea,
I continue to love nature, to live and work in the midst of it. Since 1973 I have lived and worked in Sambughé, in the municipality of Preganziol, in the devastated Veneto region.