Mattia Moreni (Pavia, 1920 - Brisighella, 1999) is an Italian sculptor and painter who has gone through the most important phases of the history of art in the late twentieth century. After the beginnings of a purely figurative fauve-expressionist matrix, he approached post-Cubist solutions by reworking Picasso and Léger, to then propose abstract-concrete forms in conjunction with his membership of the Gruppo degli Otto. Il Gruppo degli Otto was founded in 1952 by Lionello Venturi, and the participants besides Moreni are Afro, Renato Birolli, Antonio Corpora, Giuseppe Santomaso, Ennio Morlotti, Giulio Turcato, and Emilio Vedova; these reunited artists are totally open to the innovations circulating in Europe, leaving the figurative to embrace an abstract poetics and are among the first to perceive new informal themes.
Moreni later approaches the Informal (of a naturalistic type theorized by Francesco Arcangeli) and Neo-expressionism. From 1948 to 1960 he participated in all Biennali di Venezia and in 1956 with a personal room. In 1954 he was awarded with Premio di Spoleto by Francesco Arcangeli. Thanks to the support of Michel Tapié, in 1956 he moved to Paris, where he increased his research for a decade. In 1947 and 1949 two personal exhibitions were organized at the Galleria del Milione in Milan and the first retrospectives arrived in 1963, at the Morsbroich Museum in Leverkusen and at the Civic Museum in Bologna, and in 1964, at the Kunstverein in Hamburg.
After the informal experience he returns to integrating object references in his works, the cycle of watermelons belongs to 1964: between Eros and Thanatos, Moreni investigates the decadence of contemporary society. Decay, death and magnificence become the themes of his work, in a muddle hardly divisible and with tones that are never sad or afflicted by disheartening victimization and, indeed, provided with strongly vitalistic charges. After the anthropoid watermelons, the decadence of the human species is captured by the artist with other images: sterile female macros and sets of symbols, including the relationship between humanoid-computer and human-humanoid- computer.
In last decades Moreni's work has largely taken place in Romagna: in particular in Santa Sofia, where he performs five great self-portraits and the monumental sculptural work La mistura (1976-1984) and where he participates in several editions of the Festival of Contemporary art Premio Campigna.
Moreni has exhibited in Italy and abroad by organizing important personal exhibitions. Renato Barilli, Enrico Crispolti, Claudio Spadoni were interested in his work.
His works today enrich the collections of Italian and international museums, including: the GNAM – Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea in Rome, MART of Trento and Rovereto, la Galleria degli Uffizi in Florence, the Museo del Novecento in Milan, the Museo de Arte in Sao Paulo in Brazil and the Nationalgalerie Staatliche Museum in Berlin.
Galleria d'Arte Maggiore g.a.m. has curated numerous exhibitions by Mattia Moreni: Mattia Moreni - Apparizione del Narciso and Mattia Moreni - The last cry, both at the Bologna headquarters (2005), Prelude - First decade 1941-1953, at the Museo Civico delle Cappuccine, Bagnacavallo, ( 2008), Mattia Moreni - The interrupted path. Last decade 1985-1998, first at the Kunsthaus in Hamburg and then in the beautiful building of the Ancient Salt Warehouses of Cervia (2008), Mattia Moreni - Ah! Quel Freud..., at the Galleria d'Arte Maggiore, Bologna (2016).
Today the Galleria d'Arte Maggiore g.a.m. it is the location of the archive and promoter of “Mattia Moreni. Catalogo Ragionato" by Enrico Crispolti, published by Silvana Editoriale in 2016.