Profil: Agostino Bonalumi

Agostino Bonalumi

Agostino Bonalumi, Milano, 1966
Photo courtesy: Uliano Lucas


Agostino Bonalumi was born on July 10, 1935 in Vimercate, Milan.

He studied technical and mechanical design.
His first one-man exhibition was held in 1956 at the Totti Gallery in Milan.
In 1958, at the exhibition in the Pater Gallery in Milan the group Bonalumi Castellani and Manzoni was established. That exhibition was followed by other exhibitions in Rome, Milan and Lausanne.
In 1961, he was one of the founders of the “New European School” group at the Kasper Gallery in Lausanne.
Arturo Schwarz bought some of his works, and in 1965 organized a one-man exhibition, introduced by Gillo Dorfles on the catalogue.
In 1966, he started a long-term relationship with Naviglio Gallery of Milan that represented him exclusively and in 1973 published a wide monographic book by Gillo Dorfles.
In 1966, he was invited to exhibit some works at the Biennale di Venezia, and in 1970 he had a dedicated space at the Biennale.
Afterwards there was a period when he worked and studied in the Mediterranean countries of Africa and in the USA, where he introduced himself with a one-man exhibition at the Bonino Gallery in New York.
In 1967, he was invited to exhibit his works at the Biennale of Sao Paulo and, in 1968, at the Biennale of young artists in Paris.
In 1967, he produced some environmental paintings such as “Blu Abitabile” for the exhibition “Lo Spazio dell'Immagine”, in Foligno (Italy), and “Grande Nero” for his one-man exhibition at the Museum am Ostwall of Dortmund. In 1979, within the exhibition, supervised by Francesca Alinovi and Renato Barilli, he produced the work “Dal giallo al bianco e dal bianco al giallo”, where the environment, considered as a human activity, is analyzed as a primary activity, thus psychological. The same concept was present again in 2002 when he produced “Ambiente Bianco – Spazio trattenuto e spazio invaso”, at the Fondazione Guggenheim of Venice.
In 1980, under the supervision of Flavio Caroli and Gillo Dorfles, the Lombardy Government organized a wide review of his entire production at the Palazzo Te of Mantua.
In 2001, the National Academy of San Luca awarded Agostino Bonalumi with the Republic President Prize for his works as a sculptor. On this occasion a retrospective exhibition was held at the Accademy site, accompanied by a monographic book by Achille Perilli.
He was also interested in stage design. In 1970, he designed and produced the scenes and costumes for the ballet “Partita” for the Teatro Romano in Verona, with music by Goffredo Petrassi and choreography by Susanna Egri.
In 1972, he designed and produced the scenes and costumes for the ballet “Rot” at the Teatro dell’Opera of Rome, with music by Domenico Guaccero and choreography by Amedeo Amodio.
Despite a long term illness, Bonalumi follows on working assiduously on the development of his research, reaching the outstanding results of the latest years.
He also completes the production of a cycle of bronze sculptures based on projects developed on the late sixties.
Bruxelles, Moscow, New York, Singapore are few of the world capitals hosting one-man expositions during his latest activity period.
During the summer of 2013, he enthusiastically collaborates at the realization of his important exhibition in London, which vernissage, unfortunately, he will never see.
Agostino Bonalumi dies on September 18th, in Monza.
Just a week before, he was working in the place in the world where he felt the best: his studio.