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Mimmo Rotella

Mimmo Rotella was born in 1918 in Catanzaro, Italy, but when he’s just 12 years he moves to Naples in order to study art.
In 1941 he gets a job in the Mail Service and Comunication Department in Rome, where he stays a short time because he has to go to the war.
In 1944 he graduates from the artistic high school of Naples, and starts to teach art in Catanzato. One year later he is in Rome and starts to experiment with a new-geometrical style.
From 1947 he begins to participate to his first expositions and in 1949, he concentrates on his experiments about the phonetic poetry. His first personal exhibition is in 1951 in the Chiara Chiurazzi Gallery, but his works don’t have much success.
In the same year he has the first contacts with foreign art, expecially the french and the north american. Thanks to a Fullbright grant he goes in the USA as an Artist in Residence, in the kansas University. In Kansas City he has another personal exhibition in the Rockhill Nelson Gallery.
This american experience allows Rotella to discover e know all the most important artist of the artistic trends of those years. After a short stop in his artistic production, he starts with the Decollages. Mimmo Rotella takes all the comunicative strenght of the commercial ads on the posters, and then he puts them together on the canvas. His first exposition of this kind of artwork is in Rome, at the exhibition “Esposizione dell’arte attuale”.
This new style culminates in the Cinecittà series, made in 1962, and inspired by the celebrities and myths of the italian and Hollywood movies.
Between the 1956 and 1957 there are the first rewards: Graziano Prize and Battistoni Prize. In 1964 he exposes in the Biennale of Venice and in 1965 in the Quadriennale of Rome From the ‘70s he starts to work on new artworks using chimical solvents on the figures of the commercial posters.
In 1977 he attends Cooperarte that is a new movement of artists who want to explore the relationship between the public and the artwork.
In 1990 he exposes in the Pompidou Centre of Paris, with the exhibition "Art et Pub", and in the Museum of Modern Art of New York wih the exhibition "High and Low".
Thanks to the introduction of the new technologies he starts to be interested in digital painting, and supports the first exhibition of this style of art, in 1997. Meanwhile continues his activity in the most important museums of Paris and of Usa. With the aim to collect the works and documents relating to his artistic life, in 2000, by his will, is formed Mimmo Rotella Foundation. In 2004 he receives an honoris causa degree in Architecture at the University Mediterranea of Reggio Calabria.
Mimmo Rotella dies in 2006. His works are in many museums and in the major Italian and foreign collections.

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