Sandro Chia

Figura galante

“I lived an era – that between the 60s and 80s – wonderful and unrepeatable, on the verge of total carefreeness. Still preserving clear ideas on my artistic aspiration. I was enrolled to the technical institute for surveyors by my parents, but then they found out that I wasn’t going and that I was secretly attending art school. To support myself I worked in an artisanal workshop in San Frediano, where we would alter artistic and logistic items. Along with art school, it was the first time where I had exceptional professors. You need only to think that literature class was taught by Mario Luzi.”

Donated by Carlo Traglio. Oil on canvas, 1982, 215 x 195 cm.

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Born in 1946 in Florence. Lives and works between Miami, Rome and Montalcino (SI). Together with Francesco Clemente, Enzo Cucchi, Nicola De Maria and Mimmo Paladino, the Florentine artist Sandro Chia 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. After completing his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence in 1969, Chia moved to Rome for a decade, and then to New York for twenty years. After various travel experiences in Asia and Europe, he then converted to figurativism, creating large-format works in which heroic male figures (which also return as subjects in his bronze sculptures) become the expression of an intense, decisive and dynamic pictorial stroke. Chia’s figurative repertoire thus introduces a series of iconographic references to his paintings taken from ancient and modern art, bringing back the strength of the narrative and the enchantment of the dream in his unruly treatment of form and colour.