VALERIO ADAMI: The Narrative Line

11 January - 10 February 2017

(b. 1935 Bologna, Italy)


Adami is primarily a draughtsman and colourist. After realising as a young man he wanted to paint, he studied at the Brera Academy in 1951 and in 1955 he went to Paris, where he met and was influenced by the artists Roberto Matta and Wifredo Lam.


Adami developed a highly stylised manner of painting featuring regions of flat colour bordered with bold black lines. The bright, flat finish links Adami to the world of Pop-Art, however, unlike the superficial nature of much of the genre, Adami’s works are much more complex. Addressing difficult and often dark subjects such as Politics, Mortality and Mythology, his narrative paintings are filled with symbolism and the subjects themselves are often portrayed in an uncomfortable manner, forcing the viewer to question the narrative in the work.


‘Drawing is a literary business. I don’t leave the drawing until I can write the word ‘end’...I would like it if in painting one could use the terms prose and poetry as well, so that I could define my work as painting in prose. The narrative impulse is essential...’.


The Mayor Gallery has presented a selection of recent paintings and their accompanying preliminary sketches which fascinatingly reveal the tedious process of working and re-working on paper before realising on canvas.


Valerio Adami lives between Paris, Monaco and Meina, Italy