Vasco Bendini (Bologna, 27 febbraio 1922 – Roma, 31 gennaio 2015).
His artistic development began in the 1940s at the Architectural Department at the University in Florence, which he soon left to move to the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna, where he attended the courses of Giorgio Morandi and Virgilio Guidi. In 1949 he exhibited for the first time in Milan and set up, in 1953 in Florence, his first solo show, presented by the famous art historian Francesco Arcangeli. Starting from 1956 Bendini exhibited for the first time at the Venice Biennale, where he came back exhibiting in a solo show in 1964 (presented by Maurizio Calvesi) and in 1972 (this time curated by Arcangeli and the famous art historian Renato Barilli).
In this first period, one of the central themes of his works is the face, interpreted in an archetypal key, of a universal illustration, on the edge of abstraction for which the artist is constantly talented. Then, his work looks to the poetics of American and European gesture and materials, especially to artists such as Wols and Jean Fautrier, to later approach Arcangeli's Last Naturalism.
Gradually going beyond the suggestions of an extreme naturalism, he formulate a wide sign in tempera on paper and lumped in dense chromatic mixtures in oil paintings. From the mid-sixties Bendini carry out a radical change in his painting with the inclusion of objects, as in the series Object as history (1966-73), elaborating elements of the Neodada culture and invading the real space with installations and actions.
Thus he becomes a precursor of the research that will flow into the development of Arte Povera. The paintings of the last period are large pictorial surfaces, with wide chromatic drafts, which involve the viewer and stimulate him both on the perceptive and imaginative, poetic and rationally ethical levels. In fact, the artist has the certainty that art must interact with the viewer and that, thanks to this dialogue, there must no longer be a universal interpretation of the work but only subjective perceptions.
In 1956 he participated for the first time in the XXVIII Biennale di Venezia, where he came back, with a solo show, in 1964 (presented by Maurizio Calvesi) and in 1972 (presented by Francesco Arcangeli and Renato Barilli). In 1969 he presented a performance at the Civic Museum of Bologna. In 1973 a personal room was dedicated to him at the 10th National Art Quadrennial in Rome.
On February 27, 2013, on the occasion of his 91st birthday, the exhibition Vasco Bendini 1966-67, curated by Gabriele Simongini, opens at MACRO in Rome.
Vasco Bendini's works are exhibited in major Italian and foreign museums: Academy of Fine Arts of Rome, MACRO in Rome, MART in Trento and Rovereto, MAMbo of Bologna, and The Art Museum - Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, USA
In 2022 the museum Galleria Nazionale in Rome dedicated a solo show to Vasco Bendini, curated by Bruno Corà.
Galleria d'Arte Maggiore g.a.m. January 16, 2020 opens “Vasco Bendini. Historical Works". The exhibition through a selection of works that starts from the Fifties, the Informal period, passing through the Sixties of Arte Povera, follows the evolution of Bendini's research that comes to achieve the performing art in order not to stop in front of the challenge of polymatericity in the following decades.