Dadamaino | Original prints, lithographs, etchings and illustrated books




Dadamaino, pseudonym of Edoarda Emilia Maino (Milan, 2 October 1930 - Milan, 13 April 2004), was an Italian artist who actively contributed to the movements of the Milanese avant-garde of the fifties with her geometric-perceptive research.

In the early fifties Dadamaino is attracted to painting and paints himself as a self-taught, mostly flower pots. He knows the work of Lucio Fontana by chance seeing a blue and purple spatial concept with sequins displayed in an appliance store between Piazza Cordusio and Via Broletto: he is impressed by a sudden revelation.

From this moment Dadamaino started his own artistic history and in 1956 he made his debut in the art world by participating in the "Cesare da Sesto" Painting Award in Sesto Calende (VA). In this period the young artist starts to be called Eduarda, from which derives the diminutive Dada.

On April 4, 1957, the Grattacielo Gallery of Enzo Pagani inaugurated the Self-Portrait Prize at the Circolo della Stampa in Milan. Dadamaino participates proposing his self-portrait: a figurative painting, where a colored and undefined background emerges a female face, characterized by large light eyes, aquiline nose and red and fleshy lips. Blue lines shade the wide oval. Other participating artists include Enrico Baj, Roberto Crippa, Lucio Fontana and Piero Manzoni.

He began attending the Jamaica Bar, the center of Milan's avant-garde, where he met, among others, Piero Manzoni, photographers Giovanni Ricci and Uliano Lucas.

On 31 May 1958 he inaugurated his first solo exhibition at the Galleria dei Bossi in Milan, curated by Angel Vargas.

In the autumn of 1959, on the influence of Manzoni, the criticism of informal painting became more radical in Dadamaino as a questioning of the profession of the "painter" and of his traditional work tools. On December 18 of that year in the group exhibition La donna nell'arte contemporanea at the Galleria Brera in Milan, Dadamaino presents for the first time, provocatively, a volume: a monochrome canvas characterized by a large ovoidal gash.

On 21st August 1961 the "Punto Group" was founded, founded by Dadamaino, Antonio Calderara, Nanda Vigo, Kengiro Azuma, Hsiao Chin and LI Yuen-Chia, whose inspirer is Lucio Fontana, who writes for the artists a thought at the base of their poetics : "Understanding the condition of finite in the infinite is to sense in the reality of thought" - on the basis of this reflection the manifesto is drawn up and signed.

In December 1963 he took part in the general assembly of "Nouvelle Tendance", held at the studio of the "GRAV" in Paris, becoming officially a member of the movement. Precisely in this period the name Dadamaino begins to appear united, as attested in the second issue of the journal Nul = 0 [1] and in the correspondence of the time.

In the first half of 1970 Dadamaino devoted himself to systematic studies for the research of color in which he used the seven colors of the spectrum, looking for the average chromo-value among these - in addition to white, black and brown (ten colors). It shows the Componibili, a circular kinetic Object, the entire Color Research - composed of 100 20 x 20 cm tablets with 4000 different shades - and the Fluorescent ones in a solo exhibition at the Diagramma Gallery in Milan. This exhibition prepared since the previous year marks a new turning point in the artist's creative journey. Fluorescent lamps are made of fluorescent plastic strips on the board, which increase in size from top to bottom and which can be excited by Wood light and moved by a fan or by hands, to verify the kinetic chromo-tactile experience. In 1974 Dadamaino with Gonschior, Letto, Ludwig and Tornquist formed the "Team Colore" group; as highlighted by Luciano Caramel, the common point of the artists of the group is the search for color with an analytical and mathematical attitude. In May, during the group's first group exhibition at the Galleria Colore Gallery in Milan, the artist exhibited a Cromorilievo.

In 1980 the artist participates in the Venice Biennale with a personal room inside the Italian Pavilion. Curator of the Pavilion is Vittorio Fagone who proposes leading artists of Italian artistic research in the seventies: Agnetti, Bartolini, Battaglia, Carpi, Dadamaino, Griffa, Olivieri, Patella, Vaccari, Verna, Zaza. The room dedicated to Dadamaino opens the exhibition with the facts of life - exhibited a few months earlier at the Studio Grossetti of Milan - expanded from one hundred sixty to four hundred and sixty-one sheets, which completely saturate three walls of the hall.

In 1990 he again took part in the Venice Biennale with a personal room inside the Italian Pavilion. The curators of the pavilion Laura Cherubini, Flaminio Gualdoni and Lea Vergine propose seventeen artists: Anselmo, Benati, Boetti, Dadamaino, De Dominicis, De Maria, Gallo, Garutti, Guerzoni, Mainolfi, Mariani, Maraniello, Olivieri, Pisani, Tatafiore, Tirelli and Trotta. Dadamaino, the only female presence, exhibits two works of the cycle The movement of things, measuring 1.22 x 18 meters each: huge sheets of polyester suspended in the air with two brackets, which follow two different directions inside the room.

In 1995 he took part in Zero Italien. Azimut / Azimuth 1959/60 in Mailand. Und heute / Zero Italia. Azimuth / Azimuth 1959/60 in Milan. And today at the Galerie der Stadt Villa Merkel in Esslingen, which offers a reconstruction of the first two exhibitions of the Azimut gallery, to which are added later works by Castellani and Dadamaino. The following year Dadamaino held a personal exhibition in Zurich in the spaces of the Stiftung für Konstruktive und Konkrete Kunst, an anthology with works from 1958 to 1994 entitled Dadamaino. The facts of life.

In 1999 Dadamaino left the studio in via Bitonto to move to via Ponte Seveso 40.

In 2000 the Bochum Museum Bochum, in collaboration with the A arte Invernizzi gallery in Milan, dedicated a large anthological exhibition entitled Dadamaino to Dadamaino. Retrospektive 1958-2000 by Francesco Tedeschi.

On 13 April 2004 Dadamaino died in Milan after a period of illness. His ashes rest in the small cemetery of La Maddalena, a hamlet of Somma Lombardo (VA), next to his parents' spoils.