Renato Volpini's Biography

Renato Volpini (Naples, 10 December 1934 – Milan, 3 February 2017) Italian painter, sculptor and engraver, from Urbino by training and Milanese by adoption. He graduated in the Marche capital from the Scuola del Libro. After having sustained the following two years qualifying for teaching, and obtained the Artistic Teaching diploma in 1957, in 1958 he moved to Milan, teaching for two years at the middle schools and the art school of the Castello Sforzesco, coming into contact with the Milanese artistic environment. abandoning teaching to devote himself exclusively to artistic activity, settling permanently in Milan.

After an initial approach to informal painting, Volpini, starting from the mid-1960s, turns his attention to Pop Art. The Sixties saw the achievement of his first artistic maturity, participating in that climate – dominated by the protagonists of Pop Art and of the Critical Image – which in the same years characterized the Lombard capital. In 1962 he was already present at the Venice Biennale, at the International Quadrennial of Art in Rome in 1956, 1960, 1964, also taking part in important group exhibitions, both nationally and internationally, including, in 1967, the one at the Philadelphia Art Alliance with colleagues Bonfanti, Capello, Nangeroni and Scanavino. Subsequently, overcoming the context of Pop Art, Volpini opens a new artistic phase, marked by the sum of the two previous stylistic experiences, in which “the object returns from being a mobile image, becomes animalized or humanized, exhibits itself as a hallucinated and often ironic (…) “.

Volpini first moves in an informal context, but his early maturity coincides with the figurative research of the 1960s, when he invents machines and constructions that develop on the surface and in space with a storytelling and ironic trend.

Volpini alternated his artistic activity with that of a printer in Urbino, an activity that led him to experiment with different techniques, up to the most recent results, in which the author uses the most modern reproduction techniques. He founded the “Multirevol” art printing house in Milan, active from 1969 to 1985, quickly becoming a point of reference in Italy for limited edition reproductions of works by artists and institutions in Italy, Paris and the Netherlands.

It is starting from these experiences that he, on the threshold of the new millennium, after a long period of artistic silence, returns to create, using and interacting with the most modern reproduction techniques of the digital age, also addressing the visual and conceptual aspect. of the work in relation to its reproducibility (see the collective exhibition “Original multiple” together with Lucio Del Pezzo and Mimmo Rotella held in the Manzoni Gallery in Milan in 1996). The spearhead of this research are what he calls “ODM works” (“Original Digital Media”), in which he, according to a definition by Gillo Dorfles, “uses the extraordinary compositional, chromatic and transcriptive possibilities of the computer and plotter to metamorphosing his works, very recent or recovered from the past”. Volpini publishes monographic volumes “Volpini in the Sixties” and “Renato Volpini in the Sixties … and beyond”, limited editions in which the artist presents, alongside the historical works, the recent ODMs (original-digital-media works) that mark his most recent production.

In addition to numerous solo and group exhibitions at Italian and foreign art galleries, his exhibitions have been organized at the Palazzo dei Diamanti in Ferrara in 1990, the Palazzo Ducale in Urbino in 2002 and the halls of the Mudima Foundation in Milan in 2002 and 2007, Studio Ghiglione in Genoa in 2006, the exhibition “A Century of Italian Art – The collector’s gaze – Works from the VAF Foundation” at the MART in Rovereto in 2005.

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