At work on a lithographic press, Salzburg, 1965
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.
Lithography workshop, Sommerakademie, Salzburg, 1967
With Hermann Ober, Kunstlerhaus, Salzburg, 1969
Circolo De Amicis, Milan, 1972 (At centre, Aldo Aniasi, Mayor of Milan)
At work on a silkscreen press, Circolo De Amicis, Milan, 1972
At work on a woodcut, Milan, 1975
With Corrado Maltese, Galleria San Fedele, Milan, 1977
With Paolo Baratella, Galleria San Fedele, Milan, 1977
With Nino Calos, Salon Grands et Jeunes d’aujourd’hui, Paris, 1977
With Emilio Isgrò and Giuseppe De Lorenzo, Arte Struktura, Milan, 1978
With Emilio Tadini, Arte Struktura, Milan, 1978
With Luciano Minguzzi and Domenico Purificato, Brera Fine Arts Academy, Milan
With Bruno Munari, Centro Culturale d'Arte Contemporanea Sincron, Brescia, 1980
With Pierre Restany, Milan, 1981
With Zita Vismara, Alik Cavaliere and Andrea Cascella. Vismara Arte, Milan, 1981. Solo exhibition
With Gianni Colombo, Vismara Arte, Milan, 1981
With Gillo Dorfles, Vismara Arte, Milan, 1981
With Carlo Belloli, Vismara Arte, Milan, 1981
With Jole Desanna, Vismara Arte, Milan, 1981
With Andrea Cascella, Vismara Arte, Milan, 1981
With Luciano Caramel, Vismara Arte, Milan, 1981
With Carlo Belloli, Anna Canali, Licia Alberi and Gianni Colombo. Galleria Arte Struktura, Milan, 1986
With Mario Nigro, Milan, 1987
With Carlo Nangeroni and Riccardo Barletta, Milan, 1987
With Rossana Bossaglia, GAM, Gallarate, 1987. Anthological exhibition
With Silvio Zanella, GAM di Gallarate, 1987. Anthological exhibition
At work on a lithographic press in his studio, 1987
With Anna Canali, Arte Struktura, Milan, 1987
With Augusto Garau and Carlo Belloli, Arte Struktura, Milan, 1987
With Gabriele De Vecchi, Arte Struktura, Milan, 1987
With Getulio Alviani, Fiera Campionaria, Milan, 1987
With Vincenzo Accame, Milan, 1994
With Roberto Sanesi, Galleria San fedele, Milan, 1996. Solo exhibition
With Sergio D'Angelo, Galleria San fedele, Milan, 1996. Solo exhibition
With Franco Grignani and Francesco Poli, in the library of the Brera Fine Arts Academy, Milan, 1997
Paolo Scirpa in the school of painting, Brera Fine Arts Academy, Milan, 1999
In his atelier, Milan, 2000
With Chiara Lubich, Rocca di Papa, Rome, 2003
With Luciano Fabro and Zita Vismara, Vismara Arte, Milan, 2004. Solo exhibition
With Tommaso Trini, Zita Vismara, Claudio Cerritelli and Paolo Minoli. Vismara Arte, Milan, 2004. Solo exhibition
With Mario Ballocco, Vismara Arte, Milan, 2005
In his atelier, Milan, 2005
With Joel Stein, MiArt, 2007
With Davide Boriani, Verona, 2010
With Elio Marchegiani, Milan, 2010
In his atelier, Milan, 2010
With Volker Feierabend, MART, Rovereto, 2011
With Valmore Zordan, MART, Rovereto, 2011
With Alberto Biasi, GNAM, Rome, 2012
With Marcello Morandini, ArteA Gallery, Milan, 2016
With Vittoria Coen, Museo del Novecento, Milan, 2017