Claudio Olivieri

An introspective vision of art based exclusively on the artist’s creativity and the original tools of painting. These are the features which Claudio Olivieri obstinately pursued throughout his career. Olivieri was one of the main representatives of that area known sometimes as “new painting”, sometimes “painting painting” and sometimes “analytical painting” in Filiberto Menna’s theoretical definition.

With determination and obstinacy those belonging to this movement (with him were Griffa, Guarneri, Verna, Pinelli and others) kept alive and relaunched an expressive form which many before them had given up for dead, restoring value to expression on the canvas, the relations between forms, lights and shades, colors.

Born in Rome in 1934, Claudio Olivieri, who died last December,  however spent most of his career in Milan. He rejected Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art and Arte Povera to develop an extremely rigorous type of work in which color becomes an interior image, an expression of the direct relationship between the self and the canvas, reaching his full maturity starting from the’70s. Large luminous fields of color emerge from the darkness, creating more and more various and newer and newer balances.

The five Biennales of Venice, the 1977 documenta of Kassel and other numerous exhibitions in Italy and in the world in which he took part, all testify to the esteem his work was held in by curators, art critics and museum directors.

The market has been late in recognizing his value, as well as generally the value of all those who were part of this Italian artistic scene, but the fact that parallel American and European artists such as practitioners of Color Field Painting and Support/Surface are gradually increasing in value is an indication that recognition should soon be arriving for Olivieri too. Although auction prices do not yet exceed 20,000 euros, it is very likely, also in consideration of his recent death, that his values will tend to move towards those of his parallel international colleagues.

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