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Achille Perilli (Rome 1927)

Achille Perilli was born in Rome in 1927. He studied classics at university under the tutelage of Lionello Venturi. Along with other young artists he founded Forma in 1947, the first Italian abstract group, whose aim was to foster the cohabitation of “formalism and Marxism”. With his companions in Rome and his Milanese peers, he promoted and took part in the major avant-garde exhibitions of the post-war period, both in Italy and abroad (including in Paris, Prague, Salzburg, Vienna, Munich, Copenhagen, Helsinki and Zurich). During one of his frequent stays in Paris he met and became friends with Arp and Magnelli, who soon convinced him to abandon his early post-cubism in favour of a more rigorous concrete abstraction.
In the 1950s, he practiced a style of painting based on the sign, from which his first masterpieces were conceived, nowadays well represented in numerous international public collections. During that period he played a leading role in numerous international enclaves inspired by Dadaism, regarding whose culture he was Italy’s first, major go-between. At the Venice Biennale in 1962 and 1968, where he exhibited for the first time in 1952, there were entire rooms devoted to his work. With Gastone Novelli he founded and edited the review L’esperienza moderna, a decisive source of information on the most recent currents of international art, and crucial point of reference, particularly as regards the relationship of Italian with French artistic culture.
In the meantime, he also worked intensively for the theatre. From its foundation, he took part in Gruppo 63, later founding the review Grammatica, the fruit of his collaboration with Giuliani and Manganelli, confirming what by then was the broadly multidisciplinary propensity of his interests. From the end of the 1960s, his painting began to imagine a paradoxical and crazy geometry, which in various forms, including up to his recent work on the Trees sculptures, has occupied him up to the present day.
Perilli has lived and worked in Orvieto for a good many years.


Fabrizio D'Amico