Emilio Tadini (b. 1927 – d. 2002 Milan, Italy) is considered one of the most original personalities of Italy’s post- World War II cultural landscape. A Poet, novelist, essayist, art critic, journalist and painter, he is, in the words of friend and contemporary Umberto Eco, “A writer who paints, a painter who writes.”.
In 1947 he debuted with a poem in Elio Vittorini's magazine Politecnico, which was followed by intense critical and theoretical writings on art. From 1963 to 1993 Tadini published four novels and a volume of poems. It was alongside his critical and literary work, from the late 1950s Tadini began to paint. His first solo exhibition was in 1961 at the Galleria del Cavallino in Venice, and then in 1965, in a group show, together with Mario Schifano, Valerio Adami and Lucio Del Pezzo at the newly opened Studio Marconi in Milan.
Although stylistically ‘Pop’ Tadini, rather than the superficial gloss of American Pop Art, was greater interested in the more introspective, personal, and at times intellectual British Pop Art such as Peter Blake, David Hockney and Allen Jones, but also to that of Francis Bacon, Patrick Caufield, Ronald Kitaj, and the figurative narratives of Valerio Adami and Hervé Télémaque.
During the 1970s he had solo exhibitions in Paris, Stockholm, Brussels, London, Antwerp, the United States and Latin America, both in private galleries and museums. In 1978 and 1982 Tadini participated in the Venice Biennale, and in 1986 he had a large solo exhibition at the Rotonda di via Besana in Milan. From autumn 1995 to the summer of 1996 a major retrospective took place in the museums of Stralsund, Bochum and Darmstad. In spring 2005, the Villa dei Cedri Museum in Bellinzona had a large posthumous retrospective of his work.