Ugo Attardi | Original prints, lithographs, etchings and illustrated books




Ugo Attardi (Sori, 12 March 1923 - Rome, 20 July 2006) was an Italian painter, sculptor and writer.
Born in the province of Genoa. The father, trade unionist and active member of the 'Federation of Maritime', originally from Santo Stefano Quisquina, a small village in the province of Agrigento, is forced by the fascist regime to leave Liguria to return to Sicily. The mother is Natalia Donnini Attardi. He moved with his family to Palermo, intrigued by painting and its techniques, from an early age (in his free time he helped his paternal uncle, an old painter of portraits and landscapes) began attending the Academy of Fine Arts and later the faculty of Architecture. In 1945 he moved to Rome, hosted by Pietro Consagra, in turn host of Renato Guttuso.

The climate, rich in post-war cultural and civil initiatives, allows him to resume his research with enthusiasm. With some young artists, in 1948, he constituted the Forma Uno movement, of abstract orientation, maturing however divergent visions with respect to the rest of the group. His companions were Carla Accardi, Antonio Sanfilippo, Pietro Consagra, Piero Dorazio, Mino Guerrini, Concetto Maugeri, Achille Perilli and Giulio Turcato.

In 1948 he participated in the National Exhibition of Fine Arts (V Quadrennial National Art) in Rome.

In the early fifties he directed his art towards expressionism, drawing inspiration among others to Francis Bacon and George Grosz, combining his artistic activity with the political commitment within the Italian Communist Party. The need to experience a new and visionary relationship with reality leads him to move away from abstractionism, to study his own form of expressionism. In 1952 and 1954 he was invited to the XXVI and the XXVII Biennale di Venezia. In 1956, even in the midst of the crisis of realism, he exhibited successfully in a gallery in Trastevere. In 1958 he took part in the foundation and began to collaborate with the culture and politics journal "Città Aperta", together with Tommaso Chiaretti, Elio Petri, Renzo Vespignani and Mario Socrate. In the early sixties he participated in numerous exhibitions both in Italy and abroad. In 1961 he founded the group Il Pro and il Contro, heading to all the events until the last year, that of dissolution.

In 1963 one of his works was exhibited at the exhibition Contemporary Italian Paintings, set up in some Australian cities. In 1963-64 he exhibited at the exhibition Peintures italiennes d'aujourd'hui, set up in the Middle East and North Africa.

A trip to Spain directs him towards the rediscovery of the classics and the deepening of historical studies. In 1974 he created the drapery of the Palio di Siena on August 16th. In 1986 and 1987 he exhibited at the ICAF in London and at the International Contemporary Art Expo in Milan. In 1988 his works are exhibited in Tokyo. In 1997 the Telecom company chose one of its works as an image for a telephone card. In 2003 the Presidency of the Council of Ministers of the Republic awarded him the Cultural Award in the Art Sector, as an institutional recognition aimed at highlighting the figure and work of great artists and cultural figures. In 2006 he received from the President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, the title of Grand Officer of the Republic, for his artistic merit and for having been able to spread and promote Italian genius and creativity all over the world. He died at the Gemelli Polyclinic in Rome at the age of 83.