1935 born in Bologna, Italy
Valerio Adami is an Italian painter. Educated at the Accademia di Brera in Milan, he has worked in both London and Paris. His art is influenced by Pop Art.
In 1945, at the age of ten, he began to study painting under the instruction of Felice Carena. He was accepted into the Brera Academy (Accademia di Brera) in 1951, and there studied as a draughtsman until 1954 in the studio of Achille Funi. In 1955 he went to Paris, where he met and was influenced by Roberto Matta and Wifredo Lam.
In 1957 Valerio Adami held his first solo exhibition in Milan and began to move back and forth between Italy and Paris, interspersed with trips to London, New York, South America and India.
In his early career, Adami's works were expressionistic, but by the time of his second exhibition in 1964 at Kassel, he had developed a style of painting reminiscent of French cloisonnism, featuring regions of flat color bordered by black lines. Unlike Gauguin, however, Adami's subjects were highly stylized and often presented in fragments, as seen in Telescoping Rooms (1965).
In 1962 he finally settled in Arona at Lago Maggiore, having married his wife Camilla. But only five years later Valerio Adami returned to his globetrotter life, spending time in New York and London, where he produced numerous pictures on urban topics. Subsequently, he travelled to Mexico, Caracas, Marrakech and Flanders.
In the 1970s, Adami began to address politics in his art, and incorporated subject matter such as modern European history, literature, philosophy, and mythology. In 1971, he and his brother Gioncarlo created the film Vacances dans le désert. In 1974 he illustrated a Helmut Heissenbuttel poem, Occasional Poem No. 27. Ten Lessons on the Reich with ten original lithographs (Gallerie Maeght). In 1975, the philosopher Jacques Derrida devoted a long essay, "+R: Into the Bargain", to Adami's work, using an exhibition of Adami's drawings as a pretext to discuss the function of "the letter and the proper name in painting", with reference to "narration, technical reproduction, ideology, the phoneme, the biographeme, and politics".
From 1977, trips to India, the US and Israel followed. In 1981 Valerio Adami was commissioned to create a large ceramic wall for the Nouvelle École Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Cercy Pontoise. In 1984 Adami ceased dating his pictures. In 1986 the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris showed a retrospective of Valerio Adami's oeuvre. Other four retrospective exhibitions of Adami's work have been organized between 1985 to 1998. They were held in Paris, the Centre Julio-Gonzalez de Valencia (Spain), Tel Aviv, and Buenos Aires. In 2010, the Boca Raton Museum of Art devoted a special exhibit to Adami's paintings and drawings.