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DADAMAINO 1930-2004

Curated by Flaminio Gualdoni

17 December 2023–07 April 2024

The Exhibition

DADAMAINO 1930-2004
Curated by Flaminio Gualdoni

From 17 December 2023 to 7 April 2024
Opening Saturday 16 December at 6 p.m. Free entrance

The retrospective exhibition dedicated to Dadamaino (Edoarda Emilia Maino, 1930-2004) retraces the fundamental stages of the artistic career of one of the major protagonists of the avant-garde of the second half of the 20th century, from the investigation of monochrome painting and the surface of the canvas in the late 1950s up to the international recognition of the 1960s and her participation in two fundamental International Art Exhibitions of the Venice Biennale, in 1980 with a personal room curated by Vittorio Fagone in which she exhibited I fatti della vita, and in 1990 with two works from the cycle Il movimento delle cose, invited by Laura Cherubini, Flaminio Gualdoni and Lea Vergine, both of which are on display in the exhibition. 
The exhibition opens with the Volumi from the end of the 1950s, in which the rejection of the traditional pictorial practice that was to accompany him throughout his creative parabola is immediately evident, and continues in accordance with Dadamaino's research method, which moves through homogeneous, distinct and characterised series including, after Volumi (1958-1960), Volumi a moduli sfasati (1960-1961), Rilievi (1961), Oggetti ottico-dinamici (1962-1965), Componibili (1965-1966), La ricerca del colore (1967-1968), Arte pubblica e il progetto di Ambienti (1969), Cromorilievi (1972), L’Inconscio razionale (1975), L’Alfabeto della mente (1977), I fatti della vita (1978-82), Costellazioni (1981-1987), Il Movimento delle cose (1981-1987). 
The focus on Dadamaino's work is also an opportunity for the Museum to reflect on its own history intertwined with that of the Premio Nazionale Arti Visive Città di Gallarate (National Visual Arts Award of the City of Gallarate) which, through important exhibition opportunities, has allowed it to build a collection of great value centred on Italian artists. 
In 1976 Dadamaino participated with two works in the second exhibition of the 10th edition of the National Visual Arts Award of the City of Gallarate, The Art of Scientific and Technological Inspiration, invited by Umbro Apollonio. On this occasion, the art commission awarded and purchased the work Volume a moduli sfasati of 1960, which officially entered the collection of the Civica Galleria d'Arte Moderna, now MA*GA . Exhibited alongside her were many artists who in the current and previous decade had shared the participation in groups and trends, the search for experimental languages, and the cultural and personal struggles for the renewal of the arts in Italy. 
For this reason, in the exhibition Dadamaino's works dialogue with works from MA*GA collection by Lucio Fontana, mentor of many young artists, Enrico Castellani and Piero Manzoni, Davide Boriani, Bruno Munari, Getulio Alviani, Gianni Colombo, Nanda Vigo and Grazia Varisco to fully revive the cultural fervour of those years.

The Artist

Dadamaino (Edoarda Emilia Maino) was born in Milan in 1930. During the bombing of the Second World War, the Maino family moved to La Maddalena, a hamlet of Somma Lombardo (VA), where her maternal grandparents lived, before returning to Milan at the end of the conflict. There, Edoarda attended the Liceo Classico and later the School of Applied Art for Industry at Castello Sforzesco.

Her education took place through her frequentation of the Milanese avant-garde, whose meeting point was the Bar Giamaica in Brera: she was particularly close to Piero Manzoni, whom she frequented from 1957, and Lucio Fontana, who profoundly influenced her research. In the 1960s her work underwent a phase of important internationalisation with strong tangencies with the research groups Nul, Zero, Nouvelle Tendance and GRAV (Groupe de Recherche d'Art Visuel). In the 1970s Dadamaino's activity is strongly influenced by the political commitment of the period, numerous are the solo exhibitions and the appearances at group exhibitions in museums and institutional spaces in Italy and abroad. In 1980 he was present with a personal room at the XXXIX Venice Art Biennial with 461 sheets of I fatti della vita, and in 1990 he returned to the XLIV Venice Art Biennial curated by L. Cherubini, F. Gualdoni, L. Vergine with two monumental works from the cycle Il Movimento delle cose.

On 13 April 2004 Dadamaino died in Milan. His ashes rest in the small cemetery of La Maddalena, a hamlet of of Somma Lombardo (VA).

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