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Tancredi Parmeggiani (Feltre 1927 - Rome 1964)

Tancredi Parmeggiani was born in Feltre in 1927. Early on he studied in a college run by the Salesian fathers in Belluno and later, in 1946, he enrolled at the Academy in Venice. In 1947 he went to Paris to complete his education, captivated by Kandinsky and Wols but uninterested in  neo-Cubism, which attracted many of his Italian fellow artists at that time. In this way, there was a widening of his horizons, until then constrained by examples of painting more acceptable to Venice: from Guidi (who mounted his first personal exhibition in 1949) to Pizzicato and Vedova, who had been friends of his since the war years. When he was in Rome for a few months in 1950 he made the acquaintance of the Forma group of young artists, in particular Turcato.  Returning to Venice he began a firm friendship with Peggy Guggenheim, who supported the new market, and through whom he encountered the work of the most important abstract expressionists from Pollock to Tobey. In 1952 he embraced spatialism and, through the gallery owner Carlo Cardazzo, he became involved with Fontana.
In 1953 he definitively developed his painting, according to him based on the “little point”,  which he identified as the monad of all universal forms and “the smallest mental space considered”; at the same time his first personal exhibitions demonstrated his acquired maturity, marked by the “nature=space” cycle. He mounted several exhibitions at the Cavallino in Venice and the Naviglio in Milan, but also in Paris, London and New York among others. Towards the end of the 1950s he married and moved to Milan where he exhibited the works of his new cycle A proposito di Venezia (À propos of Venice) which was his last entirely abstract collection. In the Facezie (Witticisms) and the Matti (the Mad) collections, whose works were produced from 1960 on, the convulsed space, constructed with a bright and magmatic colour, is populated by small devilish and twisting figures, which remind us of Munch’s hallucinations and bear witness to the artist’s encounter with the climate of expressionism of the international association of artists named “COBRA”. In his last years he divided his time between Milan, Venice and Rome where, at a very young age, he committed suicide in 1964.


Fabrizio D'Amico