The following chronology includes the main events in the artist’s life.
The general chronology is currently being revised.

  • 1927

    Piero Dorazio was born in Rome on June 29.

  • 1933-1945

    He studies at the Liceo classico “Giulio Cesare,” Rome. In 1942–43, he paints landscapes inspired by the Roman countryside and still lifes.


    During the bombing of Rome and until 1943 he moves with his family to Abruzzo. After returning to Rome in 1944 he enrolls as a translator for the Royal Army Service Corps and for the Red Cross, while finishing his studies.

  • 1946

    He attends the School of Architecture in Rome without finishing. He follows some classes at the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia, Rome.


    With Achille Perilli, Mino Guerrini, Lucio Manisco, Carlo Aymonino, Carlo Busiri Vici, Alfio Barbagallo, and Renzo Vespignani he founds the “Arte Sociale” group.


    With Perilli, Manisco, and Nello Ponente Dorazio attends lectures by Lionello Venturi at the faculty of Liberal Arts, Rome.


    Dorazio visits Severini in his studio in Rome and studies futurist paintings with Perilli.

  • 1947

    Dorazio, Guerrini, and Perilli with Carla Accardi, Antonio Sanfilippo, Ugo Attardi, and Concetto Maugeri establish the Forma 1 group. On March 17, 1947 the magazine Forma is published featuring the group’s manifesto.


    Right after publishing the Forma 1 manifesto Dorazio, Perilli, and Guerrini travel to Paris as students to see impressionist and cubist works.


    In the summer, Dorazio, Perilli, and Guerrini participate in the “World Festival of Youth and Students” in Prague.


    In October, Dorazio receives a grant from the French government to study at the École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts in Paris. Gino Severini and his wife Jeanne introduce him to Georges Braque, Fernand Léger, Hans Arp, Alberto Magnelli, Picasso, and Le Corbusier.

  • 1948

    He publishes for Giornale della Sera a series of articles on Paris-based artists and on abstract art.

  • 1949

    In the fall, Dorazio, Perilli, and Guerrini are invited to join an international art workshop in Leopoldskrohn, Salzburg.


    Dorazio, Perilli, Manisco, and Guerrini leave the group Forma 1.

  • 1950

    Dorazio, Perilli, and Guerrini open a gallery-bookshop in Rome called L’Age d’Or, specialized in avant-garde books and magazines and hosting abstract art.

  • 1951

    Lucio Fontana invites Age d'Or to collaborate with the Triennale in Milan. Dorazio, Guerrini and Perilli work together on two large wall-paintings, awarded with a silver medal.


    Group Origine (Ballocco, Burri, Capogrossi and Colla) and Age d'Or join together in the Fondazione Origine.

  • 1952

    Dorazio obtains a grant by the French government to spend 4 months in Paris.


    He presents a conference on abstract art at the X Quadriennale in Rome. This research will serve as a basis for the book La fantasia dell’arte nella vita moderna.


    He exhibits three drawings at the XXVI Venice Biennale, with Perilli, Burri, and Guerrini.

  • 1953

    In June, he leaves for the Unites States, invited by the Harvard International Summer Seminar at Harvard University, Cambridge. He holds two conferences titled Italy: A New Culture in An Old Society.


    In October, an exhibition of his works on paper opens at George Wittenborn’s One-Wall Gallery, New York. Rose Fried visits his studio and invites him to exhibit his “cartographies” the following year.

  • 1954

    Dorazio returns to Rome in June and moves with his studio to Piazza Armellini.


    He leaves the Fondazione Origine and the “Arti Visive” to entirely devote himself to painting. He participates in the Triennale in Milan with a large wall composition.

  • 1955

    His book La fantasia dell’arte nella vita moderna is published by Polveroni e Quinti Editori, Rome.


    In March, he presents his first solo shows in Italy, at Galleria Apollinaire, Milan, and at Galleria del Cavallino, Venice.


    He participates in several group shows including those organized by the Art Club and titled Le Arti Plastiche e la Civiltà Meccanica at the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, Rome.

  • 1956

    He wins the prize of Città di Alessandria and the first prize ex aequo of the Ministero della pubblica istruzione for his paintings.


    He also participates with three paintings in the Venice Biennale.

  • 1957

    He presents his first solo exhibition in Rome, at Galleria La Tartaruga.


    He moves his studio to Passeggiata di Ripetta, the artist neighborhood in the capital.

  • 1958

    For a cultural exchange program in Leverkusen, Dorazio, on behalf of the Art Club, organizes the exhibition Pittori italiani e tedeschi at the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, Rome.


    He participates with six paintings in the XXIX Venice Biennale.

  • 1959

    He takes part in Documenta II in Kassel where he meets Heinz Marck, Otto Piene, and Günther Uecker.

  • 1960

    Dorazio is invited to Zurich by Max Bill to exhibit at Konkrete Kunst: 50 Jahre. He also displays paintings at Monochrome Malerei at the Städtisches Museum, Schloss Morsbroich, Leverkusen.


    He has a solo room at XXX Venice Biennale.


    In August, he departs for the United States, to begin teaching; he is invited to establish the graduate Fine Arts Department at the University of Pennsylvania.


  • 1961

    The Kunstverein Düsseldorf devotes to him a major retrospective. On this occasion he joins the group Zero.


    He has a solo room show at São Paulo Biennial.

  • 1962

    He participates in some exhibitions with the group Continuità, including Perilli, Consagra, Arnaldo and Giò Pomodoro, and Novelli.


    He wins the Premio Termoli and the Premio Lignano Sabbiadoro.

  • 1963

    He continues to teach in Philadelphia one semester each year and becomes Associate Professor.

  • 1964

    He holds solo shows at Galleria Marlborough and Galleria Il Segno, Rome.

  • 1965

    He participates in several exhibitions in Europe and the United States, including The Responsive Eye at MoMA, New York.


    In Rome, he moves his studio to a new location in Villa Giulia.

  • 1966

    The poet Ungaretti writes an essay on his art for Dorazio’s retrospective at Galerie Im Erker, St. Gallen.


    He is invited to present a room at the XXXIII Venice Biennale.

  • 1967

    In St. Gallen he illustrates Ungaretti’s poem collection La luce.


    For the VI Biennale d’Arte the Republic of San Marino organizes a large retrospective of his paintings together with works by Victor Vasarely.

  • 1968

    Dorazio moves to Berlin for six months, invited by the Deutsche Akademische Austauschdienst.

  • 1969

    He continues to teach at the University of Pennsylvania, and works both in New York and Rome for an exhibition at Marlborough Gallery, New York.

  • 1970

    Dorazio abandons his teaching post to devote himself to painting. He moves his studio to Via Flaminia, just outside of Rome.


    He is awarded the first prize of the III Biennial of graphic arts, Krakow.

  • 1971

    He travels to Asia and the Middle East.

  • 1972

    He designs sets and costumes for La Scala Theatre in Milan for Arnold Schönberg’s Transfigured Night.

  • 1973

    He participates in in the exhibition Plus by Minus at the Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo.


    He is included in the Gruppo Zero’s room at Kunstmuseum, Düsseldorf.

  • 1974

    Dorazio leaves Rome and moves to Todi in the former Camaldolese convent of Canonica, which he restores completely.

  • 1975

    The Associazione Piazza Maggiore and Comune di Todi organize a retrospective of his work.


    He participates in several group shows: Pittura italiana d’oggi, at Galerie Templon, Paris and Galerie Espace in Montréal; Les prix Kandinsky, at Galerie Denise René, Paris; Color as Language, at MoMA, New York; Empirica, at Museo di Castelvecchio, Verona.

  • 1976

    He starts a collaboration with André Emmerich Gallery, New York.

  • 1977

    The monograph Dorazio is published by Edizioni Alfieri, with an introduction by Jacques Lassaigne, a critical essay by Marisa Volpi Orlandini, and a contribution to the catalogue raisonné by the artist and Giorgio Crisafi.


    The gallery Springer in Berlin organizes an important exhibition to celebrate Dorazio’s 50th birthday.

  • 1978

    He opens a workshop and a school for contemporary ceramics, the Centro Internazionale della Ceramica, Montesanto.

  • 1979

    The Albright-Knox Gallery in Buffalo, New York, organizes a major touring exhibition of his work, presented in several museums around the United States. First large retrospective exhibition in France, at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris.

  • 1980

    He presents a solo exhibition at the Galleria del Planetario, Trieste.

  • 1981

    The Wilhelm Hack Museum, Ludwigshafen, and the Neue Pinakothek, Munich, host an important exhibition of his work.

  • 1982

    Exhibitions at Museum Quadrat, Bottrop, and Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, Rome. He participates in Italian Art 1960–1980 at the Hayward Gallery, London and in Carnegie International Exhibition at Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh.

  • 1984

    He starts to write regularly for Corriere della Sera.

  • 1985

    He travels to Japan for two exhibitions at Seibu Gallery and Face Gallery in Tokyo.

  • 1986

    The President of Italy Sandro Pertini awards Dorazio with the Accademia Nazionale di San Luca prize.

  • 1987

    The gallery Springer in Berlin organizes an important exhibition to celebrate Dorazio’s 60th birthday.

  • 1988

    Solo exhibition room at the XLII Venice Biennale.

  • 1989

    He organizes a major show Rassegna degli artisti dal centro Italia — Ad Villam in Perugia at the Rocca Paolina.

  • 1990

    Dorazio receives the Alcide de Gasperi prize for the arts and sciences.


    He designs a large mosaic for Italmosaic, Spilimbergo.

  • 1991

    Exhibition of works on paper at the Kodama Gallery, Osaka.


    The Musée de Grenoble and the Galleria Comunale d’Arte Moderna, Bologna host a large exhibition with over 80 paintings.


    He organizes the exhibition Beauty Is Difficult dedicated to Ezra Pound at Museion, Bolzano.

  • 1992

    The Kunstverein Ludwigshafen presents a retrospective on his works on paper.


    He is appointed member of the Akademie der Künste in Berlin and of the Accademia Nazionale di San Luca in Rome.

  • 1993

    The Art Curial Galerie, Paris, presents a selection of his objects and fashion designs.


    From 1993 to 1996 he directs “Arte-Metro-Roma,” the creation of mosaics by a number of international artists in the metro stations across Rome.

  • 1994

    A retrospective of his work is presented at the Athens Civic Museum. His work is included in the Solomon R. Guggenheim exhibition The Italian Metamorphosis 1943–1968 in New York.

  • 1995

    He participates in the exhibition Les figures de la liberté at Centre Pompidou, Paris.

  • 1996

    He takes part in the exhibition Face à l’histoire at Centre Pompidou, Paris.


    The Calcografia Nazionale di Roma presents a retrospective exhibition of his works.

  • 1997

    He receives the Michelangelo Prize from Accademia dei Virtuosi del Pantheon.

  • 1998

    The city of Belluno presents a retrospective of 50 years of works on paper at Palazzo Crepadona and the City of Milan hosts a survey show of his paintings from 1960 to 1970 at PAC — Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea.

  • 1999

    He realizes a glass window for Palazzo della Cultura in Acilia.

  • 2000

    Achim Moeller Gallery, New York devotes an exhibition to his paintings from the 1950s.


    Carima and Comune di Macerata award him with the Scipione prize for painting.


    The Dresdner Bank in Heidelberg inaugurates a bank venue with an exhibition of Dorazio’s work.

  • 2001

    The exhibition Dorazio Jazz opens at Museion, Bolzano.


    He realizes a glass window for City Hall in Rome.

  • 2002

    He exhibits at Galleria Ulisse, Rome, at Galleria Cappelletti, Milan, and at Galleria Aras, Ravensburg.

  • 2003

    A large retrospective of his work opens at IVAM - Institut Valencia D’Art Modern, Valencia.

  • 2004

    He presents recent works at Achim Moeller Gallery, New York, and at Galerie Valentien, Stuttgart.

  • 2005

    Piero Dorazio dies in Perugia on May 17.

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