(1930 - 2012)
Carlo Ciussi (1930-2012) was one of the leading figures of Italian abstract art in the second half of the twentieth-century.
After an apprenticeship with painter Fred Pittino, Ciussi attended art school in Venice from 1945 to 1949. Here he met the art critic and historian Giuseppe Marchiori and the leading Venetian painters of the time, Emilio Vedova and Giuseppe Santomaso. He also had the opportunity to visit the first post-war Venice Biennale in 1948, where he saw the works of Pablo Picasso and Gino Rossi.
Returning to Udine in 1949 to work with his father, he continued painting, creating works influenced by Expressionist and Neo-Cubist art.
In 1955 he exhibited at the 7th Quadriennale Nazionale d’Arte in Rome, and in 1964 he was invited to exhibit at the 32nd Biennale d’Arte di Venezia. Shortly thereafter, he was invited to join the stable at the newly opened Stendhal Gallery in Milan, which allowed him to take a studio in that city and to finally paint full time. During this period, Ciussi also began his shift from figurative work to abstraction.
He exhibited again for the Quadriennale Nazionale d’Arte in Rome in 1965. In 1967 he took part in the 9th São Paulo Biennale in Brazil and also held his first solo exhibition abroad, at the Galerie Paul Facchetti in Paris.
The first retrospective devoted to him was held in 1974 at the Palazzo Torriani in Gradisca d’Isonzo, near his home town of Udine, followed in 1977 by one at the Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea in Ferrara. In 1980 he had solo shows at the Lorenzelli Arte gallery in Milan and at Studio la Cittа in Verona. In 1986 he exhibited at the 42nd Biennale d’Arte di Venezia.
In 1997, the Civico Museo Revoltella in Trieste held a retrospective exhibition of his paintings and sculpture and in 1998 a large solo exhibition was put on at the Esslinger Kunstverein in the Villa Merkel in Esslingen.
In the early 2000s, Ciussi took part in many exhibitions in Italy, and retrospectives were put on at the Neuer Kunstverein Aschaffenburg and at the Stadtgalerie Klagenfurt. In 2011, the Civici Musei di Udine presented Carlo Ciussi 1964-2011.
In 2016, a solo room of his work was included in the Postwar Era: A Recent History exhibition at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection.
Ciussi died in Udine in April 2012.
sources: Comune de Pordenone; Susanna J. Fichera Fine Art; photo, public domain