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Piero Dorazio

Top: 'ZigZag', lithograph, printer: Erker Presse, St. Gallen, Bottom: 'Triangoli', lithograph, printer: Erker Presse, St. Gallen

Piero Dorazio was born Piero D'Orazio on June 29, 1927 in Rome, where he formally studied architecture at the University of Rome from 1945 to 1951. Around the same time, he joined the Arte Sociale group, which published a single issue by Ariele and La Fabbrica. In 1947 he co-founded the group Forma 1, which produced a Manifesto del Formalismo-Forma 1. Also in 1947, Dorazio received a scholarship to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, where he spent a year and studied Severini, Braque, Vantongerloo, Pevsner, Arp, Sonia Delaunay, Le Corbusier, and other prominent artists. In 1950 he helped organize the co-operative gallery of the Age d'Or group in Rome and Florence and in 1952 he promoted the international foundation Origine in Rome, which published the magazine Arti Visive.
In 1953 he traveled to the United States, where he met Motherwell, Rothko, Kiesler, Kline and Clement Greenberg, and gave his first one-man exhibitions at the Wittenborn One-Wall Gallery and the Rose Fried Gallery in New York. After returning to Rome in 1954, Dorazio regularly visited Paris, London and Berlin, where he befriended Will Grohmann and the dealer Rudolf Springer. His book La fantasia dell'arte nella vita moderna appeared in 1955. He traveled to Switzerland, Spain and Antibes in 1957, the year of his first one-man show in Rome, at the Galleria La Tartaruga. From 1960 to 1969 he taught at the Graduate School of Fine Arts at the University of Pennsylvania. Since then, Dorazio has held many academic positions in the United States. He visited Greece, Africa and the Middle East in 1970 and settled in Todi, Italy in 1974.
Among the various exhibitions of his work organized in Italy and abroad are those at the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (1979), at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo (1979) and at the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea in Rome (1983). He participated in major international exhibitions, such as the Venice Biennale, where he exhibited in 1960, 1966 and 1988. In the following years he had private and public commissions, such as creating mosaics in Rome's metro stations. The artist died in Todi on May 2005.