Il Ponte Contemporanea
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Nino Longobardi

Born in Naples in 1953, he is one of the leading figures of Italian painting in the last two decades. Nino Longobardi did not attend schools or academies of art, rather he trained on-the-job: in art galleries, with artists such as Carlo Alfano, Lucio Amelio, Filiberto Menna and Achille Bonito Oliva. In 1969, Longobardi met the great Neapolitan gallerist Lucio Amelio and they began a human and artistic partnership which lasted for 25 years (until 1994, the year of his death). It was the 1980s that would bring international success for Nino Longobardi. His research focused on the human figure, which he summarised in a few strokes of the brush, pencil and charcoal. In 1982 he particpated in ‘Italian Art Now: an American Perspective’, at the Guggenheim in New York, and in the ‘Trans Avant-garde at the Aurelian Walls’ in Rome. Exhibitions followed at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston and at the Miro Foundation in Barcelona ('83), at the Nationalgalerie in Berlin ('86), at the Grand Palais in Paris ('87) and at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Copenhagen ('88). In the 1990s, Longobardi always looked more closely at the body of the painting andthe recurring themes related to the representation of the body and death. He implemented a radical stripping of the human physicality and this was clear from the solo exhibitions that have been dedicated to him at the Palazzo Reale in Milan (1998) at the Castel Nuovo of Naples (1999), at the Galleria Civica di Modena (2000) and at the National Archaeological Museum in Naples (2001). He has replaced the exuberance that had characterised most of his works from the previous decade, the smooth forms, rigour and balance to achieve an unprecedented form of “minimalism”.