Lucio Del Pezzo


Napoli 1933

Born in Naples in 1933, he studied painting at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Naples. In 1958 (along with Biasi, Di Bello, Fergola, Luca and Persico) he founded the "Gruppo 58", which was linked with the "Movimento Nucleare", directed by Enrico Baj in Milan, as well as the magazine "Documento Sud", a review of art and avant-garde culture. He then spent some time in Matera, where apart from painting, he worked as teacher of ceramics in the Martella Atelier, which had been set up by the Cascella brothers and the architect Quaroni. He also decorated the dome of St Anthony’s Church in Stigliano, near Matera, with a picture measuring 80 square metres.
In 1960 he moved to Milan at the invitation of Enrico Baj and Arturo Schwarz: he had a one-man exhibition in the Galleria Schwarz and received a "Carnegie International Award" at Pittsburg. In the same year he had his first solo exhibition in New York. In 1962 he held a seminar on his own research as part of Eugenio Battisti’s course at Genoa University. He designed interiors in collaboration with numerous architects.
In 1964, together with other artists, including Baj and Fontana, he created the Labirinto del Tempo Libero for the Thirteenth Milan Triennale and was awarded one of the major prizes. He also took part in the Thirty-second Venice Biennale. He then moved to Paris, where he lived in Max Ernst’s old studio.
He participated in the Thirty-third Venice Biennale in 1966 with his own personal room. He created a stainless steel bas-relief, designed for a building by Gio Ponti in Milan. He was invited as visiting professor for a year to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.
In 1967 he was involved in the organisation of the exhibition De Metaphisica in the Kruger Gallery in Geneva, where he exhibited along with De Chirico, Carrà, Morandi, De Pisis, Sironi and Gnoli.
He had his first one-man exhibition in Paris in 1968; the French State purchased two of his works for the Sala Metafisica of Grenoble Museum (De Chirico, Max Ernst, Herbin, Carrà, Nevelson and Del Pezzo) and commissioned two large outdoor statues for an architectural/scholastic complex.
In 1969 he was invited to Cuba to the World Peoples’ Festival where he presented his sculpture La tomba di Marat. Arturo Carlo Quintavalle was curator of a retrospective of his work at Parma University in 1970. He began to work as graphic designer for Olivetti and later with the automobile group Renault Italia.
In 1973 he created a work (Il muro 120 x 3,5 m) for the Paris Pompidou Centre, which covered two sides of the fencing around the Beaubourg building-site.
In 1974 Milan City Council dedicated a retrospective exhibition to him at the Rotonda della Besana, curator Guido Ballo.
In 1978, Italsider Steelworks of Taranto put on a dedicated to his serial production (multiples and prints) and commissioned a number of iron sculptures.
In 1979 he returned to Italy definitively, setting in Milan.
During the Eighties he designed stage sets for: the opera, Samarcanda by E. Schatz, which was put on in the gardens of Milan Modern Art Museum; for an ancient music concert in the cloisters of the All Saints Church in Florence; and for a production of the opera, La festa del Principe by Lambertini and Barra at the Vesuvian Festival in Ercolano.
In 1988 he was invited by the Union of Russian Artists to show, together with twenty other Italian artists, at the Moscow Arts Palace.
In 1990 he designed the sets for the ballet A Midsummer Night’s Dream, staged at the Valli Theatre in Reggio Emilia and at the Verdi Theatre in Parma.
In 1991 he was invited to Japan where the architect Alhadeff commissioned a sculpture for the Sunstar Company in Osaka. He had a solo exhibition, Omaggio ad Andrea Mantegna in Mantegna’s House in Mantua.
He made trips to India, Nepal and Polynesia.
In 1998 he was commissioned by the architect Marco Zanuso to paint a large picture for the Milan HQ of fashion house Ferré.
In 2000 the Mathildenhohe Institute in Darmstadt put on the first large retrospective of his work in Germany.
In 2001 he designed four large ceramic bas-reliefs and a bronze sculpture for two Naples underground stations.
He currently lives and works in Milan.