Pop Art from Italy: Galerie Michael Haas shows paintings and drawings by Valerio Adami (* 1935) from the 1960s.
The 84-year-old Valerio Adami is a star of Italian Pop Art. The paintings and drawings on show here illustrate Adami’s path from figuration via abstract tendencies to a linking of the two. The works span the years 1956 to 1969, a period of rapid success experienced by the artist in his early twenties. In 1955 he had his first solo exhibition at Galleria Pater in Milan. In 1958, his art gained wider public exposure through shows at the Institute of Contemporary Art in London and at Galleria del Naviglio in Milan. In 1964 he had his own room at documenta III and as early as 1966 he was given a solo show by the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels. He took part in biennials in São Paulo, Tokyo and Paris. In 1968 he showed a whole series of pictures painted in New York in his own room at the Biennale in Venice, and the following year he had a solo show at the Museo de Bella Artes in Caracas.
Adami did allow himself to be influenced by American Pop Art, not wishing to resist the new imagery of movies, posters, comics and advertising. But from the late 1950s, they were just one element of his drawings and paintings. From the mid-1960s, he described urban scenes in flat fields of bright colour, outlined in black, the objects broken down and reassembled to the point of unrecognizability. Adami showed reality not as it supposedly is, but as he experienced it. He retold scenes assembled out of observations, dreams, fantasies, and his thinking on autobiographical, political and social themes, creating his own unmistakable artistic universe.