Cesare Berlingeri’s (Italian/Calabria, b. 1948) art is marked by a continual challenge to the limits of the canvas by bending it into new shapes, masses, and volumes. His art references the materiality of the canvas itself, reminding the viewer that the generally-flat artists’ surface is in fact a malleable textile. Through this, Berlingeri’s art has become a fixture of the Italian art world.
Berlingeri started painting at a very early age and when he was 20, in 1968, Berlingeri embarked on a tour of Europe to immerse himself in the arts and culture of the countries around his home. Upon his return to Italy, he worked in Rome as a theatrical and television set and costume designer, which influenced his later art. His career took off in the mid-1970s when he had his first solo show at AxA gallery in Florence in 1975. In 1978 he had his first solo show in Rome at Soligo Gallery. Working steadily over the next decade, in 1986 Berlingeri earned a place in the sixth Quadriennale in Rome.
After meeting the important Italian art critic and theoretician Tommaso Trini in the late 1980s, Cesare Berlingeri began to experiment with his canvasses in new ways. Much of his work revolves around the sculptural treatment of a traditionally flat artist’s surface, which he first was introduced to in his set design job. From his folded paintings to his air-filled “Bodies” (debuted 2006), the heart of Berlingeri’s artistic practice is bending and manipulating canvases.
In 1990, Berlingeri presented his folded paintings for the first time. The pieces traveled around Italy at exhibitions such as at the Polena Gallery in Genoa, Studio Soligo in Rome, and multiple shows at the Mudima Foundation in Milan and the Netherlands. With numerous solo exhibitions around Italy in the 2000s, Berlingeri has risen to international acclaim in Europe, Asia, and the Americas.
Today, Cesare Berlingeri lives and works in Taurianova.