Carlo Guarienti | Original prints, lithographs, etchings and illustrated books



Carlo Guarienti was born in Treviso in 1923. Thanks to an uncle who dabbled in sculpture and from whom he inherited the oven, at the age of fifteen he discovered clay and molded his first sculptures, and at the age of twenty he already drew and painted. He enrolled in the Faculty of Medicine of Padua.

In 1942 he went to Florence, where he made his first engravings. In 1946 he returned to Treviso, where he created some of the most important works of his first production and studied the ancient techniques of painting, in harmony with the contemporary research of Giorgio De Chirico whom he personally knew and attended in Rome. In 1949 he signed, together with Pietro Annigoni, Xavier and Antonio Bueno, Gregorio Sciltian, Ciovanni Acci and Alfredo Serri, the Manifesto of the group of Modern Painters of Reality.

Stay in Spain and admire the paintings of Titian and Velasquez at the Prado in Madrid. In 1953 he organized his first personal exhibition in Rome at the L’Obelisco gallery and in the same year he exhibited in Paris and Milan. In the mid-fifties, stimulated by the lessons of the contemporary Arturo Martini, he developed a fantastic and visionary poetics and in 1956 he was invited to the XXVII Venice Biennale and the following year to the Permanente in Milan.

In 1956 he moved permanently to Rome, where he began to collaborate with RAI for the realization of numerous scenographies. Here he follows the activities of the Central Institute of Restoration by launching a long experimentation on alternative techniques and materials to oil, such as egg tempera and calcium dairy. Friend of Goffredo Parise, Federico Fellini, Dino Buzzati, Alberto Savinio and Giorgio De Chirico, although he was immersed in the atmosphere of the twentieth-century avant-gardes (Metaphysics and a Surrealism relived in an informal key), he has always maintained a learned and passionate relationship with the great tradition pictorial. Without renouncing the conscious use of traditional techniques, Guarienti is a daring experimenter: painter, sculptor, graphic designer, illustrator, set designer, he does not forget his experiences in the restoration of frescoes.

In 1963 he was among the painters selected for the First Anthology of Roman artists which took place in Rome at Palazzo delle Esposizioni and in 1965 he was called to participate in the IXth Roman Quadrennial.

In the 1970s, Guarienti resumed his activity as an engraver. The sphere in which he operates is now not only national, but European and his works find a wide diffusion on the international market.

From an initial metaphysical vein, his painting subsequently focused on the language of the expressive deformation of the human figure, to arrive, during the Eighties, to a new form of unreality characterized by the focus of objects placed side by side and immersed in an atmosphere controlled by the effects of light and color absolute protagonists, often with intrinsic and articulated symbolic meanings. In 1998 he won the Masi Prize and in 2008 the Mantegna Prize, prestigious awards in the field of Venetian art and culture.