Biography

Piero Cattaneo was born in Bergamo on 2 December 1929 and studied there at the Accademia Carrara di Belle Arti under Achille Funi. Even as a very young artist he participated in the most important national and international collective exhibitions, and starting in 1952 he held numerous solo shows that always sparked the interest of critics and the general public alike. In 1960 he began to participate in fewer and fewer public exhibitions in order to prepare to face new themes inspired by his vivid and emerging sense of research. Cattaneo became increasingly successful in the fields of illustration and medal design, leaving an unmistakable and innovative mark on their history. The bronze single castings, made by the artist after he had spent years learning the difficult lost-wax technique, are from 1967–68. With this new production, Cattaneo felt ready to face the opinion of critics and in 1968 he returned to staging solo shows. The evolution of his technique could thus be observed: a brand-new plastic sense pervading every work, understood as a means of communication and, above all, as an instrument for interpreting a reality moving around us and impossible to escape. In his sculpture, one is tempted to see the thrust of philosophical thought, not manifested aridly as in a treatise, but poetically resolved and interpreted dynamically. All of this is because every detail of his creations, every reference of his reality, what he could see, observe and portray, seems to be pervaded by a sense of movement leading him towards unique and daring conquests. His is an art filled with pathos, with heartfelt participation in a truth that perhaps eludes investigation but that one cannot help but pursue. Cattaneo’s long experience came to an end in Bergamo on 10 June 2003, leaving behind the certainty “of having borne witness to my era in my life.”

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