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Felice Nittolo

Biography

Felice Nittiolo was born in Capriglia Irpina in 1950. Following his first training at the Institute of Arts of Avellino and at the Academy of Fine Arts of Naples, he moved to Ravenna in 1968 “because of his love for mosaics”.

During the II AIMC International Congress (international association of contemporary mosaicists) which was held in Belgium in 1984, he drew international attention to his manifest 'A-ritmismo' through which he proposed a firm renewal of traditional mosaic.

Starting from 1989 his success has been increasing worldwide and has enabled him to regularly exhibit his works in prestigious venues both in Italy and abroad.

In 1992 he presented his manifest of 'New Tradition' at the III AIMC International Congress in Saint Petersburg and participated in the exhibition in Genoa that celebrated the fifth centenary of the discovery of America. In 1996 during the XXVI Olympic Games in Atlanta, he organized the exhibition Always mosaic at the venue Casa Italia. In 1997 he also focused on scenic design and in the same period he created and exhibited in Ravenna and Udine mosaic works that meet design. He set up important exhibitions such as Byzantium Faventia Venetiae at Urban Glass: Center for Contemporary Glass in Brooklyn NY, Avellana in Carmine Church in Avellino, and Murarie at the Contemporary and Modern Art Gallery in San Marino.

In 2000 he created the installation Abellinum in the catacombs of the early Christian Church in Prata di Principato Ultra (near Avellino) and repeatedly held exhibitions in England (Exeter, Chichester, Sheffield) and in the United States (San Diego, Seattle, Olympia, New York). In 2001 once again he paid tribute to his home town with the exhibition Centoportemorte in the Carmine Church in Avellino which he dedicated to the earthquake tragedy of Irpinia. The following years, while further exhibitions were held in different cities in Italy, he set up abroad numerous important exhibitions, including Il suono del Silenzio (2003) at Japanese Art Museums Kawagoe and Saitama, and the exposition Incantamenti (2004) at the international Art Gallery Ismet Mujezinovic in Tuzla, Bosnia-Herzegovina.

He then further explored the possibilities of glass and ceramic in art and also produced some video-performances. His creative work was accompanied by a meticulous rediscovery of the work of the greatest players of 19th century Ravenna's mosaic school by organizing and curating a long series of monographic exhibitions, alternating retrospective and contemporary artists (often mosaic 'new talents'). Many other exhibitions were held in Italy, France, Japan, United States, Germany, Austria, Scotland.

In 2007 he produced Ravenna 2007 for the global launch of the new Fiat 500. The following year he set up the evocative installation Acqua e Mosaico (Water and Mosaic) in the crypt of Basilica of Saint Francis in Ravenna. In the same year, his works has entered the mosaic collection of the Art Museum of Ravenna. In 2003 his works were shown at the exhibition Meccaniche della Meraviglia on the island of Lake Garda and in 2004 he was asked to organize the exhibition Porziuncola in Chartres.

The installation in the Basilica of Saint John the Evangelist in Ravenna is from 2015.

In 2016-17 the project Ritorno (Return) was started: a site-specific exhibition & installation itinerary curated by Paolo Sacchini and Generoso Picone which has developed in seven exhibitions held in different and unusual ancient venues of the territory of Irpinia.

In 2017-18 an extensive solo exhibition entitled Felice Nittolo/Geografie a ritroso (Felice Nittolo/Backward Geographies) took place at the National Museum of Ravenna. He also participated in the important historical exhibition at the MAR of Ravenna with the title MONTEZUNA FONTANA MIRKO mosaic sculpture art from its origins to the present day.

Furthermore, he took part in the event at the public library of Paray-le-Monial in France entitled BIBLIOMOSAICO, 25 artist books as well as in Maestri italiani omaggiano la costitutzione italiana (Italian maestros pay homage to the Italian constitution) at the gallery Leonardo Da Vinci of Cesenatico.

The exhibition entitled La pietra e l'oro (Stone and gold) curated by Giovanni Gardini and in the monastery of Camaldoli still represents the most important exhibition of 2018. Later the same year, Felice Nittolo was protagonist of two more site-specific installations: Nel segno della Croce (By the sign of the Cross) located in the Basilica of San Petronio in Bologna and Svelata (Unveiled) which floats on water in the crypt of the Basilica of Saint Francis in Ravenna.

Felice Nittolo has started in 2019 with his installation called Memorie which is a sculpture he dedicated to the young victims of L'Aquila earthquake.

A hot autumn has followed: Terre d'acqua (Waterlands) held in September at Castello Estense and Torre Abate in Mesola (Ferrara), and then La luce si fa forma (Light takes shape) curated by Linda Kniffitz was held in the Baptistery of Neon – Saint Andrew's Chapel at the Archiepiscopal Museum in Ravenna.

November 2018 was a special month for the artist as “LITORITMO” was exhibited at PAN (Palazzo Nazionale delle Arti) in Naples - on the initiative of the Alessandro Vitiello Home Gallery of Rome and curated by Daniela Ricci - which was Nittolo's first exhibition in the city.

He taught Mosaic Art at the Art Institute “Nervi-Severini” and at the Academy of Fine Arts in Ravenna as well as at the Pilchuck School in Seattle.

His works are showcased in several public and private collections: from the MAR Musuem in Ravenna to the Art Museam in Tacoma (near Seattle), from the National Museum of Ravenna to the Art Museum of Kawagoe in Japan.

He lives and works in Ravenna.

Pasta exhibitions

Comunicato stampa

Alla sala Loft del Pan, Palazzo delle Arti Napoli, “Litoritmo” è un’esposizione di opere di Felice Nittolo curata da Daniela Ricci e organizzata dalla Vitiello Home Gallery di Roma, in collaborazione con l’Assessorato alla Cultura e al turismo del Comune di Napoli. Con “lucidità futurista” saranno esposte le carte, le tele e le pietre, 30 tra i lavori più rappresentativi dell’intero percorso artistico e professionale di Nittolo. La mostra, visitabile fino al 24 novembre, in tal senso ha l’obiettivo di verificare la capacità di far convivere – attraverso l’arte - passato, presente e futuro. Con uno sguardo al difficile rapporto che esiste tra l’arte contemporanea e il sistema delle regole e delle logiche di mercato.

Affrontare l’opera di Nittolo - nato a Capriglia Irpina nel 1950, ma da sempre vive e lavora a Ravenna – è un percorso che non si può intraprendere se non con un buon bagaglio di conoscenze, almeno visive, dell’arte del Novecento, e che non si può capire senza l’esperienza dei mosaici dorati delle nostre cupole e ancor più senza il lontano ricordo delle profilature degli angeli siriaci.

Il lavoro di Nittolo, artista di livello internazionale, risente di suggestioni che spaziano da Burri a Fontana, da Pomodoro a Calder, versate su ricordi di restauri ‘malfatti’ che hanno imprigionato, nella superficie asperrima della mestica, la memoria dell’oro puro bizantino, rimandando alla trascendenza. Ogni sua tappa, ogni sperimentazione sempre priva di preconcetti, risulta legata a un luogo fisico e alla sua anima.

La proposta va nella direzione delle tanto amate contaminazioni che caratterizzano questo passaggio di secolo, questo travaso di consapevolezza estetica i cui sfilacciati lembi finiscono nel nostro quotidiano, nel nostro vestire, nel nostro atteggiarci con una leggerezza e un disimpegno che le generazioni passate sicuramente ci contesterebbero. La precarietà dei materiali, la vibrante sgranatura dell’immagine, conducono all’evocazione di forme e cose sempre meno identificabili talvolta intangibili. 

Nata da un’idea di Alessandro Vitiello, l’esposizione ha il merito di presentare nella nostra città un artista importante che con la sua pittura e la sua ricerca interpreta l’esistente con scomposizioni, frammentazioni, sperimentazioni e occhi carichi di memoria. Colore, materia e luce, in ogni singola opera sono sempre diverse e assumono in divenire consistenze e aspetti differenti. Acrilico, legno, tela, linoleum, foglia oro, malta, terracotta, pasta vitrea, carta, inchiostro, alluminio, chiodi, madreperla, marmo si presentano in forme molteplici attraverso libertà e leggerezza.

Pennellate miocinetiche e incantatorie, fluide e segniche, informali, astratte, concettuali per scrutare il mondo da altre prospettive e ancora sculture che rappresentano in maniera soggettiva armonia, torsioni, equilibri, intersecazione di piani, leggerezza, cerchi e luce riflessa, e alludono ai processi naturali e anche al loro trasformarsi nel tempo e nello spazio.

La scelta delle opere è stata fatta considerando il binomio tecnica materiali da un lato e dal rapporto formale tra mosaico e arte contemporanea dall’altro.

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