Davide Benati

About Artist: was born in Reggio Emilia in 1949. Having started on his career in a period when painting itself was being seriously questioned and even rejected, his work began to become increasingly pared down, as was the case with many other artists of the period. His marks became more delicate, virtually leaving his argument to the support itself which was usually paper: at times, it was simply left as it was without any intervention by Benati himself other than, perhaps, being creased or crinkled. At a point in the mid-seventies he remained fascinated by the quality of the paper itself, and this paradoxically led to him back to painting after considering how to evaluate the material by his use of paint, watercolor in particular. Though this work might be compared to the slightly earlier stain painting of such American artists as Helen Frankenthaler or Morris Louis, its delicacy, sense of beauty, and human scale is wholly Italian; furthermore, it is evidently the artist’s hand that is in control rather than the liquid paint being left to make many of its own decisions. It is obvious that an artist with such concerns would be attracted to print making, especially etching and aquatints with their ravishing color-possibilities. Davide Benati went to high school in Modena and then to the Brera academy in Milan. His first show was held in the Galleria il Giorno, Milan, in 1972. He had further exhibitions in the 1970s but his career took off in the early 1980s. In 1982 he was invited to the Venice Biennale, where he was to return in 1990 with a solo exhibition. He was the subject of an anthological exhibition in the Galleria Civica, Modena, in 1990 which was accompanied by a short story by Antonio Tabucchi. The two were great friends and together, in 1996, they produced a book “Campane del mio villaggio, un calendario”, with twelve texts by Tabucchi and twelve watercolors by Benati. Benati had another anthological show in the Civici Musei in Reggio Emiloia in 1992. He also took part in a notable series of group shows: “Anniottanta”, Bologna, and the third international triennial in the Kunsthalle, Nuremburg in 1985; “Dopo il concettuale”, Trento, and “Itinerari di arte contemporanea” in Lisbon in 1986. He has held solo shows at Forum, Hamburg, and in the Ravenna Pinacoteca, 1988; Galleria Isola, Rome, 1989; Panicali Fine Arts, New York, Galleria Verlato, Milan, and Galleria Alberto Peola, Turin, all in 1991; the Civici Musei, Reggio Emilia, 1992; Galerie De Tugny-Lamarre, Paris, 1993; Galleria L’Isola, Rome, and Galleria Maggiore, Bologna, 1994; Galleria Alberto Peola, Turin, 1995. He has continued to exhibit in the L’Isola, Peola, and Maggiore galleries; in 1999 he was seen in Maulbronn, Germany, and in the Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon. He later exhibited in the Maison du Livre, Aix en Provence, and in Gam, Montecarlo, 2000; the Patrizia Poggi gallery, Ravenna, and the Alberto Peola gallery, Turin, 2001. He had a solo show in Palazzo Magnani, Reggio Emilia, 2003, and in the Galleria G7, Bologna, 2005.

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