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Mario Tonino was born in Aosta on April 23rd, 1956. He started painting very young (13-14 years old), at that time every surface (paper, wood o a shredded cloth) was valid for experimenting the effect of colour. At 14 years age he enrolled at art school, but due to its rules and orders he didn’t remain for a long time because he considered art to be completely free. If at the beginning, his work evidences the influence of De Chirico’s metaphysics, as he had the possibility to travel and personally visit the great European museums, his suggestions increase. The use of Caravaggio’s light, the classic elegance of Picasso’s forms bring him to develop a unique and personal style, an experimentation which has as its fulcrum the search for energy. This is highlighted with the matching of heterogeneous forms (soft and hard), with strong colours and with the constant search for more suitable materials to underline these contrasts.
Between the 70s and 80s he concentrated on the compositive aspect, bearing in mind the harmony and the use of colours of Mondrian and Klee, paying attention to the formal aspects of Kandiskij and most of all Pollock for the continuity of the narrative project drawing – colour – form. At this point of his life, after having lived experiences and suggestions, he left everything in order to start a truly personal reflection.
Today the artist shows that he has reached the right equilibrium between form and content and furthermore ha has initiated a new broad experimental phase where spaces widen and where figures appear from the background of the painting, achieving suggestive match between painting and sculpture.
He has not taken out of context the sphere of language; art, so, in all its forms, we are redirected to something primitive, like the womb from which everything is born; animalesque figures that dance in an ancestral distant past or why not, in a post-atomic future scenario.
[Martina TONINO]