Aldo Spoldi
Gordon Pym, 1980 ca
Acrylic on panel
About In the Seventies Aldo Spoldi combined conceptual art with theatrical projects, part of a generation of artists who tried to overcome conceptual rigour and rigidity by returning to an expressivity that offered a new narrative, drawing their tools indiscriminately from art history, everyday images and contemporary culture.
Spoldi’s distinctive approach lies in his refusal to be confined by the dimensions of the “painting”, in his creation of large-scale installations, and in the way he takes inspiration from a universe of images from childhood, cartoons and comics to create imaginary and delicately stylised icons.

Aldo Spoldi was born in 1950 in Crema, where he still lives and works. He attended the Beato Angelico Art High School and the Brera Academy of Fine Arts in Milan.
A playful, ironic, theatrical artist, Spoldi is a painter, sculptor, musician, writer, professor at the Brera Academy, member of the College of Pataphysics since 1983 and signatory of the E Il Topo Manifesto (2014). His work as an artist parallels the transformation in art and society, both of which are reflected in the various phases of his work. In 1968, the year of youth protests and the spread of Marxism, he organised a group of high school classmates to perform burlesque shows in the streets of a number of cities, later recorded in the catalogue Ben venga maggio, published by the Diagram Gallery / Luciano Inga Pin in 1972.

In 1977, the year of the fall of Marxism and the birth of postmodernism, he formed the Teatro di Oklahoma, which exhibited at the Diagram Gallery / Luciano Inga Pin in Milan. It represented an opportunity to engage in an ironical critique of Body Art, presenting it as if it were a still life, dressed in clothes by Elio Fiorucci, and captured in Giorgio Colombo’s large black and white photographic panels based on Spoldi’s sketches. Immediately afterwards, concurrent with the Transavanguardia art movement, Spoldi began to paint, his work characterised by theatrical images that opposed conceptual rigour.

Spoldi was invited to participate in Renato Barilli’s “Nuovi Nuovi” art movement and Flavio Caroli’s “Magico-Primario”. In 1978 he exhibited at Luciano Inga Pin’s gallery in Milan and at Enzo Cannaviello’s galleries in Rome and Milan; in 1981 at Studio Marconi, London’s Hayward Gallery, the Paris Biennial and Galerie Daniel Templon in Paris (where he returned in 1985).
In 1982 he was at the Venice Biennial and in 1983 at Holly Solomon’s in New York. In 1985 and in the years of financial immateriality Spoldi transformed the humanistic Theatre of Oklahoma into the Bank of Oklahoma, then into Srl and, finally, into BdO Ltd, a limited company based in Lugano with himself as president and CEO. The company’s aim was to transform its work and activities into a work of art.
In 1993 Spoldi presented the BdO at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, and later that same year at the exhibition Business Art-Art Business curated by Frans Haks and Loredana Parmesani at the Groninger Museum.

He has composed two operas in the form of singing sculptures: Enrico il Verde (1987) was presented at the Rotonda della Besana in Milan, at Giuliano Gori’s Celle Art Space (with music specially composed by the group Elio e le storie tese), and at the Franco Agostino Theatre Festival in Crema.
The second opera, Capitan Fracassa (1989), was performed by invitation at the L. Pecci Museum in Prato.
In 1994 he created one of his most important works for Marconi: Il museo degli umoristi, a project for a new museum and an attempt to “overturn Duchamp”. In 1996, during the years of the creation of a united Europe and the diffusion of the internet, he used BdO Spa to create a teaching project involving several virtual characters (artist Cristina Show, photographer Met Levi, philosopher Andrea Bortolon and critic Angelo Spettacoli), who were the key figures in exhibitions held in Milan, at Care Off (2000), at the Fondazione Ambrosetti (2003), and at the Paris Biennial (2006).

He has published the books Lezioni di educazione estetica; Cristina Show. Frammenti di vita; and Andrea Bortolon. Lezioni di filosofia morale, which were later presented at the Fondazione Ambrosetti and at the Cittadella dell’arte at Biella. In 2007, the year of the great financial crisis and the search for concreteness, he planned and set up the Accademia dello Scivolo, which he presented at the Brera Academy of Fine Arts in Milan, in 2011 at the Fondazione Marconi, and in 2012 at Giuliano Gori’s Fattoria di Celle.

He has also published virtual philosopher Andrea Bortolon’s book Un Dio non può farsi male.
Throughout the years he has continued to paint, and in collaboration with Fondazione Marconi presented the exhibition Operette morali (2002), curated by Sandro Parmiggiani, La tromba delle scale (2006), and Il mondo nuovo (2011). He also designed the painted camper van commissioned by the Accademia dello Scivolo. Spoldi’s major group exhibitions include Scultura italiana del XXI secolo at the Fondazione Arnaldo Pomodoro (2005); L’Orlando Furioso: incantamenti, passioni e follie: L’arte contemporanea legge l’Ariosto at Palazzo Magnani in Reggio Emilia (2014); and Alfabeta 1979-1988 at the Civic Gallery in Modena (2017).
Among his most recent solo shows was Banca di Oklahoma di Aldo Spoldi 1988-1994 at the Civic Museum of Crema and Cremasco (2016) and Aldo Spoldi. The History of the World at Fondazione Marconi (2018).
Aldo Spoldi lives and works in Crema..