Dolore e Meraviglia
A painter concerned with the interplay of space and light, who often used figuration as a pretense to ease his work towards the shores of philosophy, Piero Guccione oscillates between a visual tradition that harkens to ancestors like Antonello da Messina and a modern-day practice – in the unlikely company of fellow Italians Ettore Spalletti and Valentino Vago – wherein he aspires to a sort of absolute blue […]
Piero Guccione was born on May 5, 1935 in Scicli, a small town in the south-eastern part of Sicily, in the province of Ragusa. In 1954, after graduating from the Art Institute of Catania he moved to Rome. From 1958 to 1969 he participated in paleo-ethnological missions in the Libyan Sahara directed by Prof. Fabrizio Mori to search for cave paintings and graffiti of prehistoric Saharan civilizations. In 1961, on request of the American Federation of Art, Guccione organized an exhibition of those paintings at Columbia University of New York, later hosted at prestigious American universities.
On April 23, 1960 the Galleria Elmo in Rome hosted Guccione’s first personal exhibition, presented by the art critic Duilio Morosini. From 1961 to 1964, Guccione was part of the group “Il pro e il contro” made up by the artists Attardi, Gianquinto, and Vespignani. In 1966, he exhibited for the first time at La Biennale di Venezia and became Renato Guttuso’s assistant at the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome until 1969.
In 1971, the city of Ferrara organized Guccione’s first anthological exhibition at Palazzo dei Diamanti and the following year he exhibited again at La Biennale di Venezia, where he came back in 1978, 1982, 1988 and 2011. In 1979, Guccione returned permanently to Sicily, where he spent the rest of his life and where he became, over the years, the reference of the group of artists,“Gruppo di Scicli”.
In 1985, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York presented an anthology of Guccione’s graphic works. In 1995 he became member of the Accademia di San Luca in Rome. In 1999 he received the Special Prize for Culture of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and in 2004 he received the Gold Medal of the Presidency of the Italian Republic. His works are in the collections of the Senate of the Italian Republic and at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. In 2011, the documentary dedicated to Guccione titled “Piero Guccione, verso l’infinito” was presented at the Rome International Film Festival and at La Biennale di Venezia.
Piero Guccione died on October 6, 2018, at the age of eighty-three, in his beloved house in Quartarella in the Sicilian countryside.