Elvio Mainardi was born in Adria on December 15th, 1934.
Very young, 1952 he exhibited his first works in his native town, and found immediate favour with the public and the local critics.
He found his first teacher, T. Foster, who held him entranced with his surreal, dreamlike imagination. Mainardi was the founding Member of the ‘Artistic Circle of Adria’, organised frequent meetings, competitions and visits to major exhibitions. He took part himself in national and international art competitions at the highest levels, winning 126 first prizes and 3 first prizes abroad.
In 1960 he moved to Bologna, where under the auspices of his teachers Illario Rossi and Corrado Corazza, he studied and grasped the great secrets of art.
In 1961 he staged his first personal exhibition, in Bologna, at the “Galleria la Scaletta” and in the same year he married Lidia, who was to bear him two children: Andrea and Silvia. For eleven years he worked on the restoration of the old town on behalf of the city council.
By then he was well integrated in the artistic circles and life of Bologna and its region, and it was there he met and got to know his great masters: Morandi, Saetti and Korompai. He periodically organised both one man shows and joint exhibitions at the “Galleria il Crocicchio” which were given excellent reviews. He diligently “did the rounds” of other artist’s studios, galleries and collections, experiencing the full intensity of the strong artistic culture of region Emilia of the time.
In 1973 he moved to Valtellina in the far north of Italy, where he still lives, away from the discomforts of the city, in a charming valley, where peace, silence, glaciers and unspoilt nature coexist in perfect unison. Here he rediscovered himself, his most profound intimacy of thought, his depth of concentration and a compelling urge to paint. In 1966 he was part of a national group of adherents to the “en plain air” school, through which he met many famous artists from all over Italy, encouraging him to enrich and refine his skills and own painting style.
From 1967 to 1981 he executed a series of large canvasses for the American Headquarters of Caterpillar. In 1985 he was called upon to design and execute three posters for the FIS World Championships of Alpine Skiing, which became an immediate and resounding success all over the world, thanks to colours, the expressive and dynamic force of his figures, and especially setting pace for the return of “figurative art” on sports posters. In 1986 in America is beckoning Mainardi again, where he will stage a series of exhibitions. The public will doubtless be able to affirm that he still endows his pictures with the same love for his homeland which has always characterised his work.
Elvio Mainardi’s work is available in the U.S. at: S.R. Brennan Galleries (Palm Desert, CA. – Scottsdale, AZ.)
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