Mario Francesconi | Original prints, lithographs, etchings and illustrated books



Mario Francesconi (Viareggio, 1934) is an Italian painter and sculptor.

He was born in 1934 in Viareggio, where he still lives today. Starting from his first solo show in 1959 he develops an artistic path that goes through different phases, often attributable to the passion for poor and recycled materials. Often his artistic activity moves between the fields of painting, sculpture, collage and installation and borders on the adjacent fields of poetry and literature, also thanks to friendships and professional relationships with some of the most significant figures in the world Italian intellectual of the second half of the last century, from Emilio Villa to Cesare Garboli, from Leonardo Sciascia to Mario Luzi, from Cesare Zavattini to Pier Paolo Pasolini, from Alfonso Gatto to Sandro Penna to Venturino Venturi. After the first figurative experiences, at the beginning of the sixties he moved to Rome where he frequented the galleries La Salita, La Tartaruga, San Luca, and exhibited presented by Emilio Villa.

Since 1965 he is back in Tuscany. He attended the literary environment of the Viareggio Prize, a source of stimulating knowledge from Neruda to Longhi, from Pasolini to Buzzati, from Carlo Bo to Mino Maccari. In Florence he became friends with Romano Bilenchi, Mario Luzi and other writers. In 1966 he collaborated with Mino Maccari in the realization for the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino of the sets for Dmitrij Dmitrievič Šostakovič's Nose, whose direction is entrusted to Eduardo De Filippo. In 1971 Romano Bilenchi dedicated a story about Father and Son to him which will come out in “L'Approdo” and then in the book “Amici” published by Einaudi. The 70s are characterized by frequent trips, Paris, London, Berlin, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, during which he comes into contact with artists such as Wilfred Lam, Hans Hartung, Henry Moore. In the meantime he moved to Florence and established his studio in via Maggio. The Florentine atelier, which still represents an important seat of the artist's activity, impresses Mario Luzi for "the great abundance, the flood of painting that overflows from accumulated piles of canvases." In this period he dedicates a significant series of works to own dog Tobia, from which Manlio Cancogni wrote a story published by Pananti. In 1998 he worked on a pictorial cycle of three triptychs dedicated to the themes of Mystery, Life, Death, which will be placed in the antirefettorio of the Abbey of Vallombrosa. After a long frequentation of Samuel Beckett's poetry and theatrical work, from the year 2000 he will create hundreds of works dedicated to him including many artist books entirely autographed, paintings, collages and various materials. In 2004 the Gabinetto Vieusseux of Florence organizes a conference on the work of Francesconi at the Palazzo Strozzi in Florence, with a report, among other things, of the director of the Gallery of Modern Art in Florence C arlo Sisi; the proceedings are published in the journal “Antologia Vieusseux”. On the occasion of Mario Luzi Francesconi's 90th birthday, he dedicates a long series of portraits "from memory", graphics, paintings and collages to his poet friend, some of which will later be donated to the Gabinetto Vieusseux - Archivio Contemporaneo A. Bonsanti in Florence. In 2008 he made the film Osmosis together with Maicol Borghetti.