Project Description

Giulio Turcato

Mantova, 1912 – Rome, 1995



Born in Mantua in 1912, he has lived in Venice since 1920, where he attends the Gymnasium and the School of Art, and subsequently the Art School and the Free School of Nude. In 1937 he settled in Milan, where he earned his living creating architectural perspectives and mosaic designs for the architect Muzio. In 1939 he held his first personal exhibition in Milan. In 1942-1943 he made his debut at the XXIII Venice Biennale.

In 1943 he went to Rome, where he exhibited at the IV Quadrennial. He joined the anti-fascist Resistance and participated in the Liberation, settling permanently in Rome. His artistic work is closely linked to his social and political commitment. In 1945 he is one of the founders of “Art Club”. A period of European training begins, with trips to Paris to learn about the works of post-impressionist and abstract artists. In 1947 he signed the “Forma 1” manifesto and took part in the first exhibition of the Fronte Nuovo delle Arti. In 1948 he was invited to the XXIV Venice Biennale; two years later, at the 1950 Venice Biennale, his painting Miniera won the First Acquisition Prize. In 1952, together with Afro, Birolli, Corpora, Moreni, Morlotti, Santomaso and Vedova, he joined the “Group of Eight”, promoted by Lionello Venturi, and as a member of the group he exhibited at the XXVI Venice Biennale. In 1954 he participated again in the Biennale, presented by Emilio Villa. He will return in 1956, 1958 (personal room and winner of the National Prize), 1966 (personal room), 1968, 1972 (personal room), 1982, 1984, 1986, 1988, 1993.

In 1956 he went to China, where he exhibited in Peking (Beijing) and Shanghai: his visual experiences during this trip triggered a series of historical works, from Deserts of the Tartars to Chinese Flies . In 1957 he took part in the Painting in Post-War Italy exhibition, organized in New York by Lionello Venturi. In ’58 he was invited to the Italian selection for the “Guggenheim International Award” in New York. In 1959 he was present at the second Documenta in Kassel. In 1964 he married the Roman director Vana Caruso. The following year he participated in the Rome Quadriennale and won the Prime Minister’s Award. In 1973, while the Festival dei Due Mondi is underway, the city of Spoleto dedicates a first retrospective exhibition to the artist’s work. His second major retrospective was held in 1974 at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome, with more than 300 works, from 1945 to 1974.

In 1984, in Venice, he participated in the Biennale Teatro with the sets for the performance Moduli in Viola – Homage to Kandinsky (music by Luciano Berio, choreography by Min Tanaka, directed by Vana Caruso). In 1986 the National Gallery of Modern Art in Rome organized a major retrospective of his work. In 1989 the Sperone Gallery in New York held a solo exhibition of his work entitled Blu Oltre. In 1990 other important exhibitions of his work were held, including the large retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in Ca ‘Pesaro in Venice. His work is exhibited for the last time at the Venice Biennale in 1993, in the Opera Italiana section. In 1995, the year of his death, Turcato’s works are exhibited at the La Metamorphosis exhibition. Italian 1943-1968, at the Guggenheim Museum in New York.