Mimmo Paladino


“The idea of sculpture is the idea that the ancients probably had, and by ancient I mean the Etruscans: not to make an object that could defy the laws of proportion or that had more to do with art, but to do with the sense of magic and the religious – which is different from painting, because paint offers you an idea of fiction, while that object really comes up in front of you, you built it, you materialise it.”

Donated by the artist. Terracotta, oxides and enamels, 2008, 42 x 185 x 65 cm.

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Born in 1948 in Paduli (BN). Lives and works between Paduli, Rome and Milan.

Together with Francesco Clemente, Enzo Cucchi, Nicola De Maria and Sandro Chia, the artist from the Campania region Mimmo Paladino is one of the exponents of the Transavanguardia, an Italian artistic movement based on a project by Achille Bonito Oliva in the second half of the 1970s with a view to overcoming the abstract-conceptual language of the Neo-avant-garde movements through a return to tradition and figuration, drawing on expressionist approaches with a focus on painting, colour and technique, reappraising such elements in a contemporary key. In Mimmo Paladino’s artistic research, images recur that refer to an arcane and primitive universe, where shapes are translated into elegant and simplified signs. His works refer to a wide range of archaeological, mythological and stylistic sources including Egyptian, Etruscan, Greek-Roman, Early Christian and Romanesque art. Between 1978 and 1980, the artist created monochrome paintings in primary colours, with which he combined geometric elements and salvaged objects, while in 1985 his interests shifted towards sculptural production (often installation-oriented) in bronze, aluminium, painted wood, copper and iron.