Paolo Scheggi, Florence 1940 - 1971 Rome

  • Paolo Scheggi

    Florence 1940 - 1971 Rome

Pushing the boundaries of traditional painting on canvas into new dimensions, the neo-avant-garde artist Paolo Scheggi was a key protagonist of the Italian Spatialist movement. Born in Settignano near Florence in 1940, Scheggi studied in London and then moved to Milan in 1961. He quickly joined the vibrant young group of artists who, inspired by the work of Lucio Fontana, were reshaping the traditions that had underpinned so much of Italian painting over the previous centuries. Over the course of the next decade, Scheggi engaged with an array of disciplines, from architecture, fashion, and poetry to urban and theatrical performance. Yet his enduring artistic legacy depends upon his pioneering investigations into the relationship between the surface and depth of the visual field. In 1962, Scheggi developed his signature and now famous Intersuperfici—monochromatic surfaces, from canvas to coloured cardboard, Plexiglas, and aluminium, each perforated with biomorphic or geometric openings and layered one on top of the other.


Despite the brevity of his career, Scheggi gained significant international recognition. In 1965, Scheggi had his first international exhibition, and within a short time was involved in projects and shows in a number of countries, as well as being invited to exhibit at the 1966 Venice Biennale. Though his work had much in common with his Italian contemporaries, it also paralleled trends practiced by the Zero Group artists in Düsseldorf, and by the exponents of Op and Kinetic Art. Scheggi died very young, at the age of only thirty. Nevertheless, his superimposed surfaces not only captivated audiences in 1960s Milan and further afield, but with them he staked a claim upon the aesthetic ground zero to which artists of his generation aspired. 


Paolo Scheggi
Florence 1940–1971 Rome
Intersuperficie Curva Bianca (White Curved Intersurface), 1966
Acrylic on three superimposed canvases
100 x 200 x 7 cm (39 3/8 x 78 3/4 x 2 3/4 in.)