Lucio Del Pezzo
Domestica, 1961
Tempera, oil and collage on panel
100 x 82 x 10 cm
About Lucio Del Pezzo’s creative path gradually evolves from the neodada figuration of his early years, imbued with references to Neapolitan popular culture, to a rational geometry of metaphysical inspiration, where essential forms evoke archetypes related to pop culture. His shelf-like works are frequently reminiscent of de Chirico's metaphysical landscapes and remind the viewer of Giorgio Morandi's somber still lives.
Seemingly simple and intuitive, they are complex and full of contrasts, overflown with disparate and recurring symbols, signs and forms. The unique language through which Del Pezzo’s imagination expresses itself always balances the metaphysical spirit and the playful elements.

Born in 1933, he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Naples, his native city. After graduating, he travelled to Greece on a scholarship to carry out archaeological research. Towards the mid-Fifties he became a recognised exponent of the avant-garde. He was one of the founders of the magazine "Documento Sud" and of Gruppo 58, with whom he exhibited at the Galleria San Carlo in Naples in 1958. He moved to Milan in 1960, holding his first solo show that same year at Galleria Schwarz. The following year he exhibited in the United States, where he won the Carnegie International Award. In 1962, "Art International" published an essay about the artist by Enrico Crispolti, who invited him to L’Aquila. In 1964 he exhibited at the Milan Triennial and at the Venice Biennial, where he returned in 1966 with a solo show, presented by Gillo Dorfles. In this phase, the neo-dadaist figuration of the early years, full of references to popular Neapolitan culture, evolved towards a rational geometry with a metaphysical flavour, where the simplicity of the forms refer to an archetypal dimension, but also bear signs of the influence of pop art.

In 1965, he took part in the inaugural exhibition at Studio Marconi, marking the start of an intense collaboration with the gallery, where he held numerous solo shows in the following years. In 1970, Arturo Carlo Quintavalle ordered a major retrospective at the Salone dei Contrafforti in Pilotta in Parma, followed in 1974 by a retrospective at the Rotonda della Besana in Milan, curated by Guido Ballo.

After a long period in Paris, in 1977 Del Pezzo returned permanently to Italy, and in the following years also began to work as a set designer. Since 1984 he has held the chair of Experimental Research into Painting at the Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti in Milan. In 1988 he exhibited at the Art Palace in Moscow, and in 1994 at the Casa del Mantegna in Mantua. In 2000, the Mathildenhöhe Institute in Darmstadt presented the first major retrospective of his work in Germany. In 2001, he designed four large ceramic reliefs and a sculpture in bronze for two subway stations in Naples; he also held a large retrospective exhibition at Castel dell’Ovo.

He has created commissioned works, among them the large bas-relief made at the invitation of Giorgio Marconi for the Società Risanamento Santa Giulia in Milan. In 2004, he participated in the exhibition Metaphysical Archaeology at the Museo dei Materiali Minimi in Paestum. In 2007, at the Palazzo Doria in Loano, he exhibited an anthology of works entitled In the Italian Style. 
In 2008, a number of his works became part of the Farnesina collection in Rome.
In 2009, the exhibition De Architectura, at the Fondazione Marconi, focused on works created between 1958 and 1972 and was followed by Sagittarius in 2014-2015.
In 2016 he took part in the group show Italia Pop. L’arte negli anni del boom at Fondazione Margnani Rocca in Mamiano di Traversetolo (Parma).
Lucio Del Pezzo died in Milan on April 11, 2020.