Vittoria Chierici

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Vittoria Chierici (born in Bologna, 7 April 1955) is an Italian artist.

Life and career[edit]

Chierici was born in Bologna but moved to Milan with her family where she finished her high school studies before returning to Bologna to attend DAMS (the Dance, Art, Music and Performing Arts Department of the University of Bologna) where she earned a Degree in Art History with Prof. Paolo Fossati.

In 1979,she moved to the United States to complete her studies, first at the University of Berkeley and then at Columbia University where she enrolled in the Doctoral Program in Twentieth Century American Art. At the same time she attended photography classes at the Parsons School of Design and the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York where she met painter David Salle. In 1981 she opened an exhibition space called Parallel Window together with painter Emanuela Filiaci.

In 1983 she returned to Italy and invited by Francesca Alinovi participated in the "Enfatisti" movement,[1] a group of young artists from Bologna who showed their paintings at the Neon gallery.[2] One year later she moved back to Milan where she participated in the group show “Dall’olio all’Aeroplanino” held at the Studio San Gottardo that had just been opened by Corrado Levi.

In 1992 Levi selected her to represent Italy with her installation “Coca Cola Classic”[3] at the international exhibit “The Seven Artists” organized in Tokyo by INFAS and Hanae Mori's family. In 1991, together with other artists,[4] she founded "Slam", an irregularly published contemporary art journal.[5] In 1991, together with artists Stefano Arienti, Amedeo Martegani and Mario Dellavedova, Chierici founded the company "Art & Mass".

In 1992 she collaborated with the journal Rendiconti directed by poet Roberto Roversi. Having moved back to the US shortly after, she started attending the New York Film Academy where she earned a degree in cinematography, a discipline that she promptly incorporated into her painting. In 1993 she produced two early shorts, Street Fight and One’s Case, which were screened in art video settings.[6] Still in 1993, following the Gulf War she started painting inspired the “battle” genre of painting. Her approach to the genre “… was studied and re-conceived in the light of all the battles (true and imaginary ) as told by movies, literature and painting",[7] unreal armies made of timeless soldiers against a photographic background.[8]

In 1995, Chierici returned to Italy where she delivered lectures on contemporary art and taught workshops in several universities and academies.[9] In 1997 she published Aftermath, a bilingual Italian-English essay on the state of contemporary art. In 2000, the City of Anghiari commissioned her to paint a large canvas on the theme of Leonardo Da Vinci,[10] The Battle of Anghiari. The following year the University of Bologna awarded Chierici the DAMS career prize, to celebrate the 30 year anniversary of the department’s founding. From 2003 to 2006 Chierici was the faculty member in charge of teaching the Design, Fashion and Installation course at the Polytechnic University of Milan.

Since 2003, Chierici has been living between Bologna and New York where she shows her work and collaborates with US artists including composer Eve Beglarian, choreographer Liz Gerring, video-artist Burt Barr, violinist and composer Ana Milosavljevic, with whom she made the movie Luci in the Sky.[11]

In early 2012 Chierici prepared a letter both to clarify to herself and explain to others a new project titled "I want to sail away and paint the sea".[12] The appeal was addressed to friends and collectors and found 85 sponsors each rewarded with a painting, and thus she was able to go on an artistic cruise. On June 20 the artist boarded the Isolda, a Polish merchant ship for a 16 days Atlantic Ocean crossing that went along Newfoundland, up the Saint Lawrence river ending up in Cleveland. The short "Sailing away to paint the sea"[13] was born out of this experience as well as the film "Hands in Blue",[14] edited by milanese composer Maurizio Pisati also responsible for the film score. The trip also inspired a brief exhibition held at the Galleria dei Frigoriferi Milanesi, at the end of which sponsors received their painting.

Chierici’s works are part of permanent collections in important cultural institutions, both in Italy and abroad, such as Milan’s PAC,[15] Rome’s GNAM,[16] Rovereto's MART[17] and the New York University.


  1. ^ Later she collaborated with other groups of young Italian artists including Zefiri Milanesi, Maledetti Toscani, and Cartello 99 and with the latter participated in the XLVIII Biennale di Venezia with the “Oreste” Project.
  2. ^ Zevi, Op. cit, p. 487
  3. ^ It consists of a group of paintings where red Coca Cola bottles are obsessively repeated against a yellow background. These canvasses are inspired by Andy Warhol's famous painting “but every canvas differs from the others based on numbers of bottles, intervals, focus, chromatic intensity, ability to recognize the source” (Zevi, Po. Cit. p.488-489)
  4. ^ The group consists of artists Ivo Bonaccorsi and Emanuela Ligabue, photographer Miro Zagnoli, sociologist Pasquale Alfieri, the journalist and writer Dina Bara and art the historian Dario Trento.
  5. ^ The following year the same group started a satirical art magazine called "Infarto", that had only two issues.
  6. ^ Both videos were screened in Italy between 1997 and 1998, first in Milan and then in Bologna. Street Fight was shown as part of the “Bologna Sogna” series and later broadcast by TMC (Trento , Op. Cit. p. 75)
  7. ^ Cataluccio, Op. Cit.
  8. ^ The theme was to become better defined in 1997 in the first painting Battaglia di Anghiari by Vittoria Chierici inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s unfinished fresco which has been lost today, but that has come down to us through copies and drawings.
  9. ^ Accademia di Belle Arti di Bologna, Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze, Università di Bologna, Department of Architecture of Polytechnic University of Milan
  10. ^ Trento, Op. Cit
  11. ^ Luci in the Sky
  12. ^ Hers was not a sudden passion for the sea, already in 2006 she has tried to board a merchant ship, but even though she had failed to take the open sea, she made a documentary Church at Sea, filmed in the harbor and focusing on sailors and their lives on ships, produced by Seafarers International House.
  13. ^ The editing for the clip was done by film-maker David Roy and the music score was composed by Australian songwriter singer Charles Edmund Briggs.
  14. ^ Hands in Blue
  15. ^ Padiglione d'Arte Contemporanea
  16. ^ Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna
  17. ^ Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Trento and Rovereto


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