Paolo Scirpa italiano

A brief biography

Paolo Scirpa (Syracuse, Sicily, 1934) lives in Milan. His work has always taken the dimension of an inner quest, outside any forms of restrictive categorization.
From the 1970s, he moved from a two-dimensional iconography to the modularity of an objective space, transformed by light and mirrors into a poly-objective format. His work moved towards a dimension in which light and space become the immaterial and spectacular principal themes. The artist evidently wishes to depict not so much real light, as "ideal" light, namely the idea of infinity, and so he therefore uses the means available to him, fluorescent tubes and mirrors.
This led to the invention of his Ludoscopes, three-dimensional works that present the perception of a fictitious depth, towards luminous hyperspaces in which the boundary between reality and illusion no longer exists. Bruno Munari also commented on the playful and ironic dimension of these works. Scirpa's virtual spaces attracted attention from scholars of art and science.
Over the course of the years, he has also created large works highlighting the negative aspects of consumerist society, as well as installations, and paintings which could be described as two-dimensional depictions of his Ludoscopes.
In the 1980s, he began working on design themes, inserting his bottomless wells into various episodes of architecture and other prestigious locations.

He has exhibited at the Salon Grands et Jeunes d’aujourd’hui in Paris, at the 9th and 13th Quadriennial Exhibitions in Rome, at Palazzo dei Diamanti (Ferrara), and more recently at ZKM Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie (Karlsruhe), at Neue Galerie (Graz), at MART Museo d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto, at La Galleria Nazionale (Rome), at MACRO Museo d’Arte Contemporanea and  at Farnesina (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Rome), at Museum Ritter (Waldenbuch), at MACBA (Buenos Aires), at MACLA (La Plata), at GR Gallery (New York), at MUO (Zagabria), at Instituto Tomie Ohtake (San Paolo del Brasile), at Centro Cultural Oscar Niemeyer (Brasilia), at Fondazione Carlos Cruz Diez (Panama) and at MACA Museo Arte contemporanea (Acri, CS).

His works are present in many museums and collections including Museo del Novecento (Milan), Gallerie d'Italia (Milan), Civiche Raccolte Stampe Achille Bertarelli (Castello Sforzesco, Milan), Biblioteca dell’Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera (Milan), MAPP Museo d’Arte Paolo Pini (Milan), MAGA Museo Arte Gallarate (Milan), VAF-Stiftung (MART Trento/Rovereto), La Galleria Nazionale and Farnesina (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Rome), MAC Museo d'Arte Contemporanea (Gibellina), Museum (Bagheria), Fabbriche Chiaramontane (Agrigento), Museum Ritter (Waldenbuch) and Musée des Beaux Arts (Caen).


He has made works for public and private spaces and churches.

Scirpa´s works have been included in scenographies and shows of various kinds, both televised and theatrical: among other things, in 2015, the INDA National Institute of Ancient Drama of Syracuse entrusts him with the realization of the Manifesto of the 51st Cycle of Classical Shows and, in 2016, the Milano Musica Festival chooses its Ludoscopes to interpret the Music of the composer Gérard Grisey.


Scirpa has taught at the Brera Fine Arts Academy.

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At work on a lithographic press, Salzburg, 1965