b. 1927 Rome – d. 2005 Perugia, Italy


Piero Dorazio was an Italian painter who was pivotal in bringing abstraction to Italy. His oil paintings were often composed of intensely colored bands, which were stretched and intermingled like webs across the surface of the canvas. “The progressive elements in our society have to maintain a revolutionary and avant-garde position,” Dorazio said of creating art. 


Dorazio studied painting, drawing, and architecture at the University of Rome. In the late 1940s, the artist became active in a variety of artistic and literary circles, including Gino Severini and Renato Guttuso. He went on to become a co-founder of Forma 1, the first group of Italian abstract artists. In 1953, he traveled to New York, where he met the painters Mark Rothko, Robert Motherwell, and Franz Kline. He held his first solo exhibition at the Wittenborn One-Wall Gallery in New York the same year. He went on to hold a teaching position at the University of Pennsylvania and helped to found the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia. 


Today, the artist’s works are held in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Tate Gallery in London, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.