Born in Milan in 1959, Paolo Manazza has studied Theoretical Philosophy at University Statale of Milan. Today he is an all-round intellectual in the visual arts field. Painter and well-known journalist, he is also author of philosophic and critical essays; amongst these his last work is “On art purposes after September 11” (ObarraO edizioni, Milano, 2006). Manazza has signed articles for the most authoritative Italian newspapers such as “L’Espesso”, “La Stampa” and “La Repubblica”. Now he regularly works for “Corriere della Sera” and “Il Mondo”, and he is editor of one of the most popular Italian art web site: www.ArtsLife.com. He has taught “Art Pubblishing” and “Theory of the Multimedia Art Market” at Brera Accademy of Milan as well as in some post-degree masters. In September 2005 he received from the Italian Republic President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi the honour of “Ufficiale Al Merito della Repubblica Italiana”. After a long period of “silent and private painting”, Manazza decided to show his paintings in a curious first solo show in Milano in April 2008; this exhibition grabbed the enthusiasm of other artists and art lovers. The show at the “Maimeri Foundation” (the biggest Italian firm of colours for artists) had an ironic and provocative title: “ViceVersa: a critic’s paintings presented by the artists”. In the catalogue text there was written: “This funny role overturning has always had many cases around the world, even if in Italy we barely discuss of it. Paolo Manazza, art market expert, talent scout and curator of many exhibitions, shows a selection of his works realised from 2005 to nowadays. To present these paintings he decided to arm with a pen the hands of some Italian contemporary artists and transform them in art critics for a day. The happy troupe decided to sign for the occasion the “Viceversa Manifesto”. This was a provocative proclaim – signed by lots of artists and intellectuals – on the necessities for guarantee a better circulation of the artistic energy around Europe. Great part of the twenty works in the show was sold during the exhibition. With the earnings an eclectic Paolo Manazza decided to buy about one hundred cans of paint; after that he organized a party during which he gave away all these cans to the young artists invited. Speaking of his works, Manazza wrote: “everything began many year ago when occurred to me of being hypnotized by some rose shades. The ones by Willem de Kooning. I started mixing the American Informal to the Italian and the French one, in an ideal union between the US and the European Abstraction. I was jumping between the ‘40s and the ‘90s of the last Century”. On the same wavelength as the American school of the ‘50s, Manazza says: “Figuration does not exist. Nothing is abstract. Only painting exists”. De Kooning used to say that the word “abstract” belonged to the ones that talk about art, that are more interested in philosophy and in art history than in painting. Is the speaking that Art has put into the painting. That is to say that the mysterious, ephemeral quality of any great work of art, not depending on its content, is something we refer to with very faint words as “lyric” or “sublime”. While the aim of the painting is something that De Kooning called the “nothing” of a painting, “the part that is not painted but that is there because of the other painted elements”.
1-10 aprile. “VICEVERSA. Paolo Manazza – I dipinti di un critico presentato dagli artisti”. Fondazione Maimeri. Milano.
2 giugno-15 luglio. “The Sound of Colors”. A cura di Cristina Curti e Mimmo Di Marzio. Centre Culturel de Beausoleil. Francia.
27 ottobre-26 novembre “PAESAGGI DELL’ANIMA CONTEMPORANEA, Contemporary Soul Landscapes”, 20 Painting on Photo Mixed Technical. A cura di François Inglessis, presso Click!Gallery, Milano, Via privata Maria Teresa 11 (angolo via Morigi). Milano
14 giugno-6 settembre. “NO FUTURE?-Paolo Manazza. Unique Works e Oli su tela”. A cura di Beatrice Cifuentes Sarmiento. Galleria del Palazzo Coveri. Firenze.
27 settembre-13 ottobre. “NO FUTURE?-Paolo Manazza. Unique Works e Oli su tela”. Presentazione di Mimmo Di Marzio. Galleria Pace. Milano.
13 gennaio-14 febbraioe. “#UNTITLED COLORS”. Presentazione di Massimo Mattioli. Studio88, via dei Cappellari 88. Roma.
8 giugno – 8 luglio. ” UNTITLED”. a cura di Alan Jones. Galleria Robilant+Voena, via Fontana 16, Milano