home > Remo Bianco > Biography

 

Remo Bianchi, in art Remo Bianco, was born in Dergano, a suburban area of Milan on June 3rd 1922. The father, Guido, worked as an electrician at the Teatro “La Scala”; the mother, Giovanna Ripamonti, practiced fortune-telling.  He was the twin of Romolo, who prematurely died in 1923. With the older sister Lyda, a future ballet dancer, he was bound for his lifetime. In 1937, after having tried many jobs to earn his living, he attended the evening courses of drawing at the Brera Academy in Milan. Here the painter Filippo de Pisis noticed him and became his tutor. During World War II, in 1941, he enrolled in the navy as a machine-gun pointer on a destroyer ship. After the ship was hit, he was rescued by the English and interned in Tunisi. On his return from Tunisi, after a short period spent in Sassuolo, he returns to Milan and to Brera in 1944. In that period he also travels frequently to Venice, visiting his tutor De Pisis. 
Between 1945 and 1950 he painted some oil figurative paintings influenced in particular both by French postimpressionism, especially Rouault and Cézanne paintings, as well as Picasso. At the end of the 1940s he experimented also the early tridimensional works and the early plaster casts (Impronte, Imprints) of humble objects - such as tracks left by tires, asphalt cracks -  at which he looked as “traces of  man”.  During the early 1950s he is close to Lucio Fontana’s researches on Spatialism, including in his works stones, glass fragments and creating simultaneously works that he called “Nucleari”, characterized by a strong effect of material. He also does some abstract works on assembled plastic or glass sheets (3Ds). In 1950 he is invited to Premio Diomira  [Diomira Award] and he wins the award for the best drawing of a young artist and the award for the newspaper "Milano Sera". In the same year he obtains one of the Suzzara awards. In 1951 he is invited to "Premio Gianni" [Gianni Award] at Naviglio Gallery dedicated to Spatialist artists.  In January 1952 he partecipates for the first time to an exhibition at Naviglio Gallery, "Autoportraits of contemporary artists" and to  "Premio Gianni 1952"  [Gianni Award 1952]. In October his first solo exhibition takes place at Cavallino Gallery in Venice, with a presentation by the painter Virgilio Guidi. So began for him the lifelong relation with Naviglio’s group of galleries.
 
In 1953 he met Virgilio Gianni who became his patron and friend as well as his most important collector. He met him through De Pisis at Villa Fiorita in Brugherio, where De Pisis was hospitalized. Gianni was a frequent visitor at Naviglio Gallery, where also the Gianni Awards took place the year before. In 1955, thanks to a scholarship offered by Virgilio Gianni, he took a trip to the United States where he spent a few months. He stayed in New York and visited also Chicago and Florida. He visited for the first time an exhibition of Alberto Burri and learned about Marca-Relli’s, Donati’s and Kline’s works as well as the action painting of Jackson Pollock, whose influence will be fundamental in developing the Collages. In 1955 he exhibited his 3D works at the Village Art Center of New York. Once back in Italy, he lost his tutor De Pisis who died in 1956.  In the same year he wrote the Relief Art manifesto to which are also related the Sacchettini – Testimonianze works  [Small plastic bags - Testimonies], in which he packages some small everyday objects – often related to the childhood world - into small plastic bags. In 1957 he began the series of Tableaux Dorés, the abstract works made with golden leaves. In 1959 he exhibited these works at the Cavallino Gallery; he then travelled around Europe (Paris, Stockholm and Munich) and visited Egypt. Once back to Italy, he worked on some life-size plaster casts of his body.
 
Between 1959 and 1960 he began works with Sephadex (a chemical gel capable of dividing substances according to their specific weights) and studies its physical and aesthetic properties; the results of this work will be exhibited in 1969 at the Stockholm Musset Modern Gallery.  The artist also studies some immaterial sculptures as well as some fragrant sculptures and sculptures moved by the wind or by the walking movements of visitors and he accomplished the unstable sculptures (1960) based on the theme of movement. At the beginning of 1961 he met in Paris the art critic Beniamino Joppolo, who presented his works in an exhibition at Naviglio Gallery in February. At the end of the same year a Tableaux dorés exhibition, presented by Agnoldomenico Pica, is organized at the Casinò of Venice. In 1962 he travelled to Iran and experimented works such as the opere condizionanti [Conditioning works] , “lamps producing deafening sounds and blinding lights” (L. Giudici 2007). Two years later he published the first “Manifesto dell’Arte chimica”  [Chemical Art manifesto] and exhibited  the Impronte Viventi [Living Imprints] at Cavallino in Venice. In Carrara he wrote the "Manifesto della Sovrastruttura”  [Superstructure manifesto] and began the Appropriation’s Cycle [Appropriazioni], to which belong the Sculture Neve [Snow Sculptures], the Sculture Calde [Warm Sculptures], the manipulations with the golden squares of newspaper pictures as well as the Bandiere [Flags]. He therefore began to use the module of the golden leaves as a “sort of trademark or personal seal, heraldic, overlapping it on reproductions of other artists’ work, magazine covers or other already existing illustrations (…)”.  In 1969 in addition to the mentioned exhibition at Moderna Musset, he exhibited at Vismara Gallery in Milano where he distributed to visitors an eatable 3D. 
 
Between 1969 and 1970 he began the Elementary art cycle. In 1970 a large Tableau Doré is exhibited at the Venice Film Festival. In the same year began the Joy living cycle [Gioia di vivere]. During the 1970’s his art included also performances and interaction with the public in works such as Idee per una scala  [Ideas for a staircase], an autobiographical installation presented at Naviglio Gallery in 1972 and Sadico Mistico Elementare [Sadist Mystic and Elementary] written and played by himself at Teatro Angelicum of Milan in the same year. In 1974 he exhibited the Quadri Parlanti [Talking Pictures] at Bon à Tirer Gallery in Milan.  In the same year took place the “appropriation” of the Coupole Café in Paris, in which he applied the golden leaves on the poster of Paris’s exhibitions.
 
Since the second half of the 1960s the relationship with the Parisian milieu strengthened, in particular with art critic Pierre Restany as well as with the galleries Raymond Cazenave and Lara Vincy. In this gallery he exhibited the Quadri Parlanti [Talking Pictures, 1976], the Living joy cycle  [ciclo della Gioia di Vivere] as well as the  Bandiere  [Flags] (1979). In 1977 took place the exhibition La realtà improntale [The imprinting reality] curated by art critic Miklos Varga at the International Arts Gallery in Rome, in which there was a comprehensive selection of the works of his entire career. In 1978 he participates at the exhibition "Metafisica del Quotidiano" at GAM Museum in Bologna and the year after at "L'opera dei Celebranti. Discorso sul Museo" [Celebrants' Oeuvre. A conversation on the museum]. In 1982 the artist suffers from serious health problems and is hospitalized in Trento. A year later the Museo delle Albere of Trento, at that time directed by Gabriella Belli, dedicates a retrospective exhibition to the artist.  Between 1984 and 1985 he travelled to India. In 1984 he exhibited the Snow Sculptures in Saint – Rémy du Blanc alias Remo Bianco at Lara Vincy Gallery in Paris. One of his last exhibitions was Drapeaux. Bandiere [Flags] at Lara Vincy Gallery in the spring of 1987. He passed away in Milan on the 23rd of February 1988. 
 
[For the biography (italian) cfr. also  L. Giudici, Regesto biografico, in C. Strinati, L. Giudici, Al di là dell’Oro, catalogue of the exhibition, Rome, Museo del Vittoriano, Gispoteca, December 8 2006 –  January 15 2007, Silvana Editoriale, Cinisello Balsamo (MI), 2006].