Achille Perilli (Italian/Rome, b.1927) was born in Rome in 1927 and grew his career in an Italy that was struggling to rebuild its culture after the reign of fascism. He is an artist whose deep philosophy is the main inspiration for his colorful geometric art. In a time when Socialist Realism was the preferred artistic style, Perilli believed realism had no use but to be hierarchical and instead deemed pure forms that were abstracted to be the only universal and egalitarian elements in art. Through this, Perilli has become a crucial figure in the Italian Abstract Art movement.
In 1945, Perilli enrolled at the faculty of Literature of the University of Rome, where he graduated with a thesis on De Chirico. In 1947 he was among the founders of “Forma 1” group, one of the most influential art collectives to emerge from Post World War II Italy, which came into existence with the publication of Forma magazine. The group’s main aspiration was to address the tension between abstraction and realism that had been resonating in Italy. While the group members had different styles, they were all influenced by painters such as Pablo Picasso. Perilli’s art known for its “irrational geometry” was inspired by the forms and colors found in Picasso’s cubist paintings. Today, Perilli is the last surviving member of the group.
In the late 1940s Perilli joined the Concrete Art Movement (MAC), arranged for a publication of “Forma 2 – Homage to Kandinsky,” and created the exhibition “Abstract and concrete art in Italy.” This movement had a strong emphasis on geometric abstraction and remained integral to Perilli’s art for decades later.
Perilli has made important contributions to Italian art since the 1940’s. He has shown his work in highly accredited spaces such as the Venice Bienalle, the Stedelijk Museum of Amsterdam, and the Gallery Tega of Milan. Recently, he has had major exhibitions in Darmstadt, Belgrade, and Milan, and in 2019 a solo exhibition of his work was presented at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg.
Perilli lives and works in Orvieto.