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From the rich world of plants – where roses, flowers and water are combined in an abstract dimension – to the surreal affairs of a puppet which has a soul like Pinocchio. These are the themes and motifs of Marco Madiai’s creative universe, one of the most celebrated Italian contemporary artists.

Life, and its diverse manifestations, is the recurring topic of his work. His suitcase, a symbol of an artist who is constantly on the move, passionate about landscapes and nature, is now bringing colours and emotions to San Donato in Poggio, in the heart of the Chianti region.

On Saturday 17th March at 5:30pm, the solo exhibition of Mario Madiai, “Unitamente in due”, curated by Filippo Lotti, opens its doors in Palazzo Malaspina. The exhibition, promoted by the Unione comunale del Chianti fiorentino, is organized by the Fuori Luogo association and will remain open until May 1st.

There will be about forty works by the Sienese artist on display – paintings on canvas, paper and wood – exhibited for the first time in the rooms of San Donato’s Renaissance palace.

Madiai uses the themes of landscape or still life to pursue his original language. “The constant and obsessive search for new subjects and methods of expression – says the curator Filipo Lotti – has been Madiai’s signature throughout his career. His recurring subjects can be divided into single-topic cycles, such as: “interiors”, “landscapes”, “gardens”, “remembering tables”, “flowers, leaves and water”, “sunflowers”, “roses”, but also “Pinocchio””.

Madiai met Pinocchio when he was already a mature artist. The relationship with the characters Mangiafuoco, the Fox and the Cat, Geppetto and the judge, offers the artist the opportunity to create a dreamlike fantasy.

Mario Madiai was born in Siena in 1944. He moved to Livorno at an early age. He attended the Art Institute “Augusto Passaglia” in Lucca and devoted himself to painting. With his precocious talent, he immediately distinguished himself in Italy’s most important artistic events of the ’60s and’ 70s. At 17 he won the fourth edition of the “Mostra dello studente d’Arte” and was given the gold medal at the Campidoglio in Rome.

He has participated in numerous exhibitions in Italy and abroad, moving frequently between Europe, Asia and the Americas. His works have recently been included in the permanent collection of the “Mario Grimoldi” Modern Art Museum in Cortina d’Ampezzo, in the “Museo d’Arte dello Splendore” in the province of Teramo.

Il Ciocco in Barga (Lucca province) has an entire room dedicated to the artist with some of his large paintings. Art critics have talked extensively about his work, from Franco Basile to Elio Mercuri, Stefano Barbieri, Giuseppe Cordoni, Martina Corgnati, Riccardo Ferrucci, Angela Madesani, Nicola Micieli, Raffaele Monti, Marco Palamidessi, Tommaso Paloscia, Gianni Pozzi, Mario Quesada, Carlo Ludovico Ragghianti, Alessandra Rotini, Pier Carlo Santini, Renato Valerio, Federico Zucchelli.

He currently lives and works between Pisa countryside and the United States.