Franco Angeli was born in Rome in 1935 from a family tied to the socialist tradition. Angeli began working in art in the mid-1950s as a reaction to the devastation of WWII and as a platform to expose his leftist/communistic views. “The matter for me is a piece of this huge tear that swept Europe, my first paintings were so, like a wound from which takes away the pieces of bandage … where blood was congealed but is no longer a red stain; Everything had to appear torn, broken”. At the age of twenty, in 1955, he started his artistic career at Edgardo Mannucci’s studio, where he stayed until 1957. During these years he got in touch with the work of Alberto Burri and the Informal Art movement, from where he took the idea to use dark materials covered with torn, scratched nylon and monochrome canvas. In 1950 Franco Angeli exhibited for the first time in a group exhibition at the “La Salita” Gallery in Rome, which allowed him to get in contact with artists such as Renato Guttuso, Jannis Kounellis, Fabio Mauri and Pino Pascali.
In 1960 Angeli had his first solo exhibition at “La Salita” Gallery, followed by a collaboration with Bruce Conner, Christo and Kudo in 1963. He has also presented works with Maurizio Calvesi at the Biennale di Venezia, with La Lupa and Quarder Dollar. During 1968-70 Franco Angeli participated in the political and artistic fervour caused by the Vietnam War. Known for his reckless lifestyle, he was permitted to enter as a new member to the School of Piazza del Popolo, an independent group of “cursed” artists. He found his partner in life Livia Lancellotti in 1975, who gave him his daughter Maria in 1976. During the 1980s Angeli was more attracted by stylized figures portraying childhood symbols and obelisks, capitals and dessert squares. Angeli passed away at the age of 53 in Rome on November 12, 1988.
Italian Pop, Tornabuoni Art, London, UK
2015 Franco Angeli (1935-1988), Studio Garibaldi, Milan, Italy
Egosuperegoalterego, Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome, Rome, Italy
2013 Portrait of a City #2 Art in Rome 1960-2001, MACRO – Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome, Rome, Italy
2012 Portrait of a City Art in Rome 1960-2001, MACRO – Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome, Rome, Italy
2009 Love Letters: Ampliamento e Allestimento della Nuova Collezione del MACRO, MACRO – Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome, Rome, Italy
Memories of Antiquity in twentieth-century art, Galleria dell’Accademia, Florence, Florence, Italy
2002 Roma, London, Paris, Galleria il Ponte, Florence, Italy
1995 46th International Art Exhibition Venice Biennial, Venice, Italy
1978 From Nature to Art, from Art to Nature, Venice Biennial, Venice, Italy