Ugo Nespolo biography




Ugo Nespolo, born in 1941 in Mosso Santa Maria, in the province of Biella, is an appreciated Italian artist known for his versatility and his ironic and playful approach to art. His life and career were marked by the constant experimentation , the transgression and the personal sense of fun that characterized his works.

He moved to Turin where his father, Libero, ran a business producing measuring instruments and technical items. Here, he attended the Albertina Academy of Fine Arts , where he obtained a diploma in painting, and the University of Turin , where he graduated in Modern Literature. It is in this effervescent cultural context that Ugo Nespolo made his debut in Italian art in the 1960s, a period of great creative fervor marked by the explosion of pop art, conceptual and poverty movements.

he begins to explore different means of expression, revisiting Futurism , Dadaism and observing the influence of American Pop Art . He meets influential personalities of Italian culture such as the philosopher Gianni Vattimo and Edoardo Sanguineti , leader of the Gruppo '63 and of the neo-avant-garde . These influences are reflected in his first solo exhibitions, held at the Galleria Il Punto in Turin and at the Galleria di Arturo Schwarz in Milan.

Since the Seventies, Ugo Nespolo has also extended his talent to cinema, giving life to what will be called the Artists' Cinema. These experimental films star artists such as Lucio Fontana, Enrico Baj, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Alighiero Boetti and many others. Some of his cinematographic works have been screened in international museums such as the Centre Pompidou, the Tate Modern, the Museo Nazionale del Cinema, the Fondazione Prada and the Venice Biennale.

In parallel, Ugo Nespolo begins to experiment with different techniques and materials, from mother-of-pearl to silver, passing through ebony and ivory. In this period, he also created the monumental work The Museum , ten meters long, which was exhibited for the first time in 1976.

In the 1980s, the artist spent part of the year in the United States, where the streets, shop windows and skyscrapers of New York became the protagonists of his paintings. He also begins to work in the applied arts sector, convinced that the contemporary artist must cross the boundaries of the specific assigned by late-romantic clichés.

From the 1990s onwards, Ugo Nespolo continues to explore new forms of artistic expression. In 1998, he created a ten-metre sculpture for the city of San Benedetto del Tronto, Working Working Working, I prefer the Noise of the Sea . In 2002, he began working on the decoration of the twenty-six stations of the new Turin Metro. In 2007, he designed the Drappellone for the Palio d'August in Siena. From 2007 to 2014, Ugo Nespolo became president of the National Cinema Museum. In 2017, he created the animation series Yo-Yo for Rai Yoyo, which won the First Prize Cartoons on the Bay . In 2018, he designs the calendar for the Arma Nazionale dei Carabinieri and the following year, the University of Turin awards him the Honorary Degree in Philosophy . In 2022, the artist signs the image-poster of the fortieth Torino Film Festival.

His career is marked by continuous evolution and the ability to reinvent himself through the experimentation of new techniques and the in-depth study of various expressive means, making him one of the most influential and recognized artists in the Italian contemporary artistic panorama.