Mario Schifano - Luca Ronchi - Johan & Levi - Libro Johan & Levi Editore
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Mario Schifano

Una biografia

 “Even those who don’t know me know me, so make up what you like”: this is how Mario Schifano warded off the would-be biographers who besieged him. So effectively that one of the most prolific and popular Italian artists of the 20th century – who was also one of the most forged and most talked about – is, paradoxically, one of the least known. Through a multi-voiced narration by people who “experienced”, followed and bore with him, Luca Ronchi offers us one possible biography of Mario Schifano, with all the dark sides, surprises, weaknesses and intimate aspects of a personality who has become a legend.

The setting for the journey through time on which Ronchi takes us could only be Rome, the “big cosmopolitan village” that during the war welcomed Schifano as a boy returning from the white beaches of Libya. In the early 1960s, Mario began painting the monochromes that would make him an icon of Italian 20th-century art on his terrace that functioned as an open-air studio at Piazza Scanderberg,  beneath the unforgettable skies of the Eternal City. He also decided to continue his pictorial adventure in Rome and to construct, in a spate of “lucid madness”, his “underground” universe in the name of diversification and “cross-fertilization”. He founded a pop-rock group; made avant-garde films; hung out with intellectuals and aristocrats; changed cars, outfits and TV sets every two seconds, and was arrested and “pilloried” for drug use. Just like “a small puma, whose musculature and ability to spring one would never suspect, and very refined in his movements and behaviour”, Schifano was a gadabout, always on the move.

Possessing an innate charm and the “good looks of Rudolph Valentino”, he was also a Don Juan, seducing stars like Marianne Faithfull and Maria Schneider, and also the three most important women in his life: Anita Pallenberg, Nancy Ruspoli and Monica De Bei, who gave him a son.
In the popular imagination Schifano will perhaps always perfectly embody the romantic conception of the artist as a wild-living genius. But behind the fame, now that he is no longer the talk of the town, there is a painter about whom we still know very little.  And one who, in his last days, liked to quote the words of Lucian Freud: “the man is nothing, the work is everything”.

Written by
Topic Personalities
Collection Biografie
Publisher Johan & Levi
Size cm 15.5 x 23
Pages 416 pages
Illustrations 145 images b/w e 20 colour
Published on 05/2012
ISBN 9788860100788


Indice testuale

Nota dell’Archivio Mario Schifano Personaggi

Prima parte 1958-1963

1. Alla fine degli anni cinquanta

2. Monocromi

3. La prima mostra

4. Piazza del Popolo

5. Un altro mondo

Seconda parte 1964-1971

6. Segni d’energia

7. Il clima felice degli anni sessanta

8. Sperimentazioni

9. Palme e stelle

10. Festa cinese

11. Grande angolo, sogni, stelle

12. Fuoco nero

13. Cinema off

14. Umano non umano

15. Wild Horses

16. Tele emulsionate

17. Human Lab

18. Sotto il segno dell’ariete

Terza parte 1972-1981

19. “Contemporanea”

20. Nel dolce rumore della vita

21. Il vortice

22. Una strana gioia di vivere

23. Umano, troppo umano

24. Cold turkey

25. L’ombra di un’ombra

26. The Times They Are a Changin’

Quarta parte 1982-1995

27. Vivere è per amare qualcosa

28. Ansedonia

29. Saxa Rubra

30. Una pittura folgorante

31. Il meglio del meglio

32. L’incendio dei ricordi personali

33. Franco

34. Tano

35. Alle Mantellate

36. Un carattere d’artista

37. Dalla vita in su e dalla vita in giù

38. Patologia della pittura

39. Lo studio laboratorio

40. Assenza di gravità

41. Adieu

42. Alighiero

43. La madre di ogni desiderio

44. Assolutamente falsi

45. Arte democratica

Quinta parte 1996-1998

46. Il quadrificio

47. Crocefisso a un ferro di cavallo

48. L’ultima battaglia

49. Forse per un pittore la morte è solo un colore

Mario Schifano

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