Enrico Benaglia | Original prints, lithographs, etchings and illustrated books




Enrico Benaglia (Rome, 1938) is an Italian painter.

Outside the major conceptual art poles of the sixties and early seventies, thanks to the authenticity of his painting, Benaglia came into contact with a cultural world of poets and actors, such as Luciano Luisi, Renato Civello, Claudio Rendina, Mario Lunetta, Walter Maestosi, Biagio Proietti, Nanni Fabbri, Riccardo Cucciolla, Gabriella Sobrino, Umberto Serafini, Laura Gianoli and Guido Ruggiero, who contribute to the development and further definition of his poetic world. At the same time, the first intense exhibition activity is taking place both in Italy (including Rome and Villa San Giovanni, and abroad (including Osaka, Vienna, Caracas, countries of the former Yugoslavia and Sweden). In the same period the artist he approached lithography and engraving, which later became an integral part of his artistic activity.From the mid-seventies onwards, he executed a series of graphic suites accompanied by critical texts by Carlo Giacomozzi, Marcello Venturoli, Franco Simongini, Donatella Serafini, Guido Giuffrè, Mario Pomilio, Ferruccio Ulivi, Georges de Canino, Philippe Soupault and Rossana Zampetti His set design activity began in 1978 with the play by Lucio Piccolo entitled "Letters of Gozzano", staged for RAI with the directed by Giacomo Colli.

In recent years the artist has placed himself on the national artistic scene by experimenting with an original and symbolic iconography, linked to the fable and mythological world, which will make his works easily recognizable. In 1985 the first organic volume on his work was published for the Edizioni Laterza, with the text of the art critic Alberico Sala. In the same year, Benaglia carried out a series of institutional activities abroad, which led him first to Yugoslavia to exhibit a traveling exhibition on behalf of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and later in Sweden at the University of Umeå, on the occasion of a tribute of the university to Italian art. In 1986 he designed scenes and costumes for the theatrical transposition of Alice James' Diario "directed by Nanni Fabbri, as well as for the theatrical work" Piccioni "by Alida Maria Sessa, directed by Riccardo Cucciolla. His exhibition activity continues in recent years at the French Cultural Center in Rome, where in 1982 he exhibited a "Hommage à Rimbaud" (along with George de Canino), and in 1987 "L'Etoile filante", a lithograph made for the exhibition "Hommage à Grandville".

He also runs some posters: including the one for the 34th Liberation Grand Prix in 1979 and the one for the show "The suit beyond fashion", hosted at Palazzo Fortuny in Venice in 1991.

Since his adolescence, Benaglia is attending Villa Medici, home of the French Academy in Rome, as well as the studies of some of the twentieth century protagonists, in particular those of the Roman School: Pericle Fazzini, Giovanni Omiccioli, Franco Gentilini and Luigi Montanarini. Around the end of the sixties, encouraged by the esteem and friendship of painters and art critics such as Vittorio Guzzi, Domenico Purificato and Giovanni Stradone, Benaglia exhibited a series of paintings showing the precocious originality at the "La Vetrata" gallery in Rome of his aesthetic and poetic research. It is Roberto Lombardi, owner of the art gallery, who first understood the cultural potential of the Roman painter.

In 1990, the Lazio Region sponsored its anthological exhibition "Enrico Benaglia, Fabula picta, Fabula dicta", at the Galleria Rondanini in Rome, with a text by Mario Lunetta, "The wisdom of naivety, the ingenuity of wisdom"; in 1991 Rossella Siligato presents an exhibition of the author at the "FIAT Arte" space in Rome. These last years, moreover, see a renewed exhibition activity in private spaces, from the Roman gallery of Enrico Lombardi, with a catalog by Renato Civello ("Il mirabile gioco"), at the Galleria L'Indicatore in Rome and at the Senate in Milan ( 1994), with a catalog by Carlo Bo ("The clock shattered"). In 1995, on the occasion of an exhibition at the La Vetrata gallery in Rome, the book "Tra simbolo e allegoria" was published with the preface by Sissi Aslan. In 1997, finally, the Port Authority of Civitavecchia with the Municipality and the Regional Council of Lazio organized, at the Michelangelo Fortress of the city, an exhibition with a text by Rolando Alfonso entitled "Gita al Forte". In 1998 the Abruzzo Region, the Superintendency and the National Museum of Abruzzo dedicated to him in the Castle of L'Aquila the exhibition focused on medieval themes "The enchanted living room", presented by Sissi Aslan. In December 1999 he exhibited a significant collection of works in the Sala Freccia Alata of the Leonardo da Vinci Airport, with the presentation of Sissi Aslan.

In May 2000, at the L'Indicatore gallery in Rome, the unpublished cycle of "The districts of the soul" is presented, accompanied by an anthology of the same name written by Gabriella Sobrino and presented by Alida Maria Sessa who coordinates the subsequent stages. of New York (January-March 2004, at the JF Kennedy Airport), of Pescara (March-April 2004, at the Vittoria Colonna Museum), of Madrid (March-April 2005 at the Institute of Culture) and finally of Fondi ( May-June 2005 at Palazzo Caetani). In the period September-October 2000, under the patronage of the Municipality of Treviso, an anthological exhibition is held entitled "States of permanent instability" at the Cultural Center "Le Venezie". The event, curated by the Edarcom Europa gallery, is presented with essays by Luigina Bortolatto and Alida Maria Sessa. From July to September 2001, the Municipality of Catania invited Benaglia to “Le Ciminiere” for an anthological exhibition on the years 1977 to 2001, presented by Renato Civello and curated by Edarcom Europa. In the November-December period the author exhibits a collection entitled "In Praise of Lightness" in the VIP Room of Turin Caselle Airport. In March 2002, thanks to the collaboration with Alitalia and Edarcom Europa, he is at the Vittoriano in Rome with the cycle of "Il giardino segreto", presented in the catalog with Duccio Trombadori and edited by Alida Maria Sessa who coordinates the successive stages of Chieti (December -January 2002, at the Trifoglio gallery); Tallinn (June-July 2003 at the Old Townhall, under the high patronage of the Italian Embassy in Estonia), in Strasbourg (June-August 2005 at the Chamber of Commerce, in collaboration with the Cultural Institute).

From July 2002 until June 2003, in collaboration with Alitalia, he exhibited his great painting "Notte Italiana" at the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris; in June 2003 he exhibited the cycle "Life in the country" at the VIP room at the Brussels Airport. His presence in Roman galleries is also very intense: for “Argam 2003” he exhibited with Alberto Sughi at the Michelangelo gallery and in November of the same year with the collection “La forza della simplicity” is at the Domus Arte.

In April-May 2004, the "Geography of emotions" cycle, presented by Fabio Cozzi and with critical essays by Gabriele Simongini and Alida Maria Sessa, is presented at the Santa Maria della Scala Museum in Siena. Also in 2004 he won the first painting prize of the third edition "Città di Fondi". From November 2004 until January 2005, the author exhibited in Milan at the Senato gallery with an exhibition of oils and sculptures: on that occasion a catalog entitled "The enchanted gaze" with the critical text of Alida Maria Sessa is presented. At the same time, an important exhibition of pastels is held in Rome at Edarcom Europa.
In 2005 the general catalog of etchings (edited by Gabriele Simongini) is presented at the State Archives of Rome and at the State Archive of Florence. In July-August 2005 he exhibited, at the Rocca Paolina of Perugia and with the patronage of the Province of Perugia, the collection "Paper dreams", the first anthological exhibition dedicated to the period 1965-1975: these works, mostly unpublished, came made in what the artist defined as "crucial years of training and research". The text of the catalog and the care of the event were by Alida Maria Sessa. Meanwhile, Italarte had promoted the exhibition "Submissions and sumptuous emotions" in Poggibonsi and San Quirico d'Orcia. In December of that year, Benaglia exhibited in Pescocostanzo, for the Artifices Association in the Castellani gallery, an exhibition of oils and pastels by Dalia de Amicis.

In February 2006, at the Italian Cultural Institute in Vienna, the exhibition "Irony of life", promoted by Italarte, is exposed with texts by Gilberto Madioni, Claudia Mezzina Macher and Alida Maria Sessa. This exhibition passes, in September, at the Murat Museum in Bari and in October at the Piancastagnaio Castle. In November the "Inventory of Emotions" exhibition is held at the Edarcom Europe Gallery and the calendar / art catalog, edited by Carlo Andriuoli for the Basilicata Region, is presented at the Faculty of Arts at La Sapienza University. thirteen unpublished pastels and a significant anthology of poems. Between December 2006 and January 2007, at the Forte Michelangelo in Civitavecchia, the monothematic cycle "The rooms of the sea", presented by the Michelangelo Gallery and with the presentation of Alida Maria Sessa, is presented.

From April to October 2007, at the Civic Museum of Teramo, the exhibition "Inner Path" is set up, with works chosen from the author's private collection, curated by Piera Di Nicolantonio. In the summer he works on the creation of eighteen sketches for the sets of the comedy "I left my women" by Diego Fabbri. The play, directed by Nanni Fabbri and the interpretations of Lello Arena and Angiola Baggi, debuted in Forlì on November 20th. In the same period the so-called "Trilogy" is exhibited: three exhibitions are inaugurated in the following days in the Roman galleries that belong to Teresa and Pino Purificato. The event is presented by Nino D'Antonio. In December 2007, an exhibition of oils and pastels with the presentation of Maria Cristina Ricciardi is inaugurated at the Trifoglio Gallery in Chieti. In Rome, at the Terrazza Martini, the poem agenda “Le pagine del poeta” is presented, edited by Pagine publishing house and edited by Alida Maria Sessa, for which the artist creates twelve commentary tables of the month.

In March 2008 another exhibition of oils, pastels and sculptures was presented at the Galleria Senato in Milan. In October 2008, at the Pinacoteca di Palazzo Vitelli in Città di Castello, Alida Maria Sessa presented the collection "Collages-paintings", which was extended until January 2009. Also in October 2008, at the Chamber of Deputies, it was presented the graphic folder "Trittico per Benaglia", with poems by Gino Fiore; and in November 2008, at the Toy Museum of Palazzo Rospigliosi in Zagarolo, the exhibition "Giocare col Mondo", curated by Maria Stella Càstano, texts by Alida Maria Sessa and the artistic direction of Francesco Zero.

In February 2009 the collection "Passo di Danza" is exhibited at the Edarcom Gallery in Rome. From April 28 to June 2, the Province of Rome hosts the works of Benaglia in the halls of Palazzo Incontro with the event "Giochi in giro" as part of the "La Provincia delle Meraviglie" event and curated by Francesco Zero and Giovanni Pescatori. In July of the same year he created the "cencio" for the Palio di Carpineto Romano and the "Mediterranea" sculpture for the Lazio region destined for the International Prize "Lazio between Europe and the Mediterranean". On 10 February, at the National Central Library of Rome, the book "Paths in the districts of the soul" by Maria Mercede Ligozzi is presented, in which a sociological survey is carried out on the behavior of the public who had visited the Benaglia exhibition held at the Pinacoteca Civic of Teramo. In April-May, Benaglia is at the Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome with the exhibition of paintings and sculptures "Benaglia's Circus".

In February 2011 an exhibition was inaugurated at the Chamber of Commerce of Catania entitled "Splendor of the Mediterranean" and an exhibition at the U.B.S. of Lugano. In December he presents an exhibition entitled "Nativity" at Palazzo Valentini.