Umberto Mariani

Umberto Mariani is a multimedia artist born in 1936 in Milan, Italy where he still resides. He graduated with honours from the Accademia di Brera.


Mariani's work is reminiscent of the three dimensional Spatialism of the Italian avant-garde.  He is best known for his complex monochrome lead draperies exploring the illusions of light and shadow created within the folds of the symbolic heavy fabric. Sometimes the composition of the drapery, the colour and the presence of the work are self-sufficient, whilst at others Mariani reintroduces a "forma celata" (hidden form), like a curtain covering a physical object which presence is only suggested. 


His first monumental narrative work in the 1960s was for St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. Since then, he has been widely exhibited in prominent institutions such as the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels, Belgium, the Musée d'Art Moderne in Paris, France, the Musée d ́Art Contemporain de Montréal, Canada, or the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna in Rome, Italy. He recently had a retrospective at the Mudima Fondazione in Milan.

Image courtesy of the artist