Mimmo Paladino (Domenico Paladino, Paduli, 18 December 1948), is among the main exponents of Transavanguardia, a movement founded by Achille Bonito Oliva in 1980, which identifies a return to painting after the various conceptual currents that developed in the seventies.
Mimmo Paladino spent his childhood in Naples and, thanks to his painter uncle, he was passionate about art from an early age. Already in 1964, visiting the Biennale di Venezia, Paladino remained marked by the vision of American Pop artists and shortly after, starting from the common climate of the "conceptual", he began his first phase of activity focused mainly on photography. The first solo show was held in Caserta, in 1969. However, the exceptional talents as a draftsman did not remain hidden for long: in 1977, in fact, he made a large pastel on the wall in Naples and also participated in the "Triennale Internazionale für Zeichnung" exhibition organized in Wroclaw. Then he moved to Milan. In the second half of the Seventies he rediscovered painting and recovered the color both in its expressive value and in the materiality of the pigment. Abstract images follow one another on large canvases with strong tonal values, spatially defined by geometric structures that attract the observer.
Between 1978 and 1980 there was a period of transition between conceptual and figurative art: the works of this phase are mainly monochromatic paintings in primary colors to which it combines geometric elements and recycled objects.
His aptitude to work on the language of art and its conceptual and expressive articulations, has roots in the Seventies, when the artist took his first steps in the context of a figuration full of symbolic elements that will be found in all subsequent production. Paladino thus embarks on surprising linguistic paths, experimenting with different traditional techniques: from drawing to painting, sculpture, mosaic, engraving, as well as filmic image. Since 1985 he has also ventured into large bronze sculptures and installations, testing the contamination between different expressive forms. A famous installation is a gigantic mountain of salt in Piazza del Plebiscito in Naples.
At the end of the 90s Paladino realizes several other pictorial cycles, in which the most problematic aspect of his research, continuous questioning of the language of art, becomes evident: geometry, fragmentation, multiplicity and accumulation of signs, together with sudden breaks and changes of register, which constitute some of the main threads of his work. His production also began to be known abroad thanks to a travelling exhibition from 1980, which moved from Basel to Essen, then Amsterdam, as well as a solo exhibition at the Badischer Kunstverein in Karlsruhe presented by Achille Bonito Oliva. In 1982 he took part in the Sydney Biennial, the Zeitgeist in Berlin, Documenta 7 in Kassel and his first retrospective was held at the Lenbachhaus in Munich in 1985. In 2015 he participates in the Biennale di Venezia, in the Italian Pavillion, with a space dedicated to him.
On the occasion of Terra Italiana, an exhibition created in 2014 by Galleria d'Arte Maggiore g.a.m. in Bologna, he exhibited some of his famous works.
Some of his works are exhibited in the most important international museums such as: "Well of heroes" (1983), "Canto I" (1995), "Interior with pond" (1988), "Vesperi" (1984) exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of New York art.