oil on canvas
16 x 12 inches (40,6 x 30,5 cm)
signed, titled and dated verso
Dorazio started exploring abstraction in the late 1940's and in the late 1950's began to create all-over meshes of colored lines. During the next decade, like the American Color Field painters who also came into their own in the 1960's, Dorazio produced expansive paintings that asserted vivid color and simplified, often geometrically ordered design. For the rest of his career, he would continue to work with the tension between lyrical sensuality and formalist rigor.
Piero D'Orazio was born on June 29, 1927. in Rome. He began painting and drawing as a teenager and after World War II began associating and exhibiting with other young and progressive artists, including those in Forma 1, the first group of Italian abstract artists.
In 1947 he received a French government grant to live in Paris, where he enrolled at the École des Beaux-Arts. During a yearlong stay, he met Georges Braque, Henri Matisse, Francis Picabia and other leading lights of the French art world. Back in Rome, Dorazio organized Modern art exhibitions and wrote art criticism. In 1950 he helped found L'Age d'Or, an artists' cooperative gallery, and in 1955 he published "La Fantasia Dell-Arte Nella Vita Moderna," the first book on international Modern art to appear in Italy.
Invited to teach in a summer program at Harvard University in 1953, Dorazio stayed in the United States for a year and befriended Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, Robert Rauschenberg, Helen Frankenthaler and other New York artists, as well as the critic Clement Greenberg.
He returned to teach from 1961 to 1969 at the Graduate School of Fine Arts at the University of Pennsylvania. Around that time he helped found the university's Institute of Contemporary Art. In 1970 he returned to Italy and took up residence in Todi.
Dorazio was represented in numerous international exhibitions, including the 1952 Venice Biennale, before having his first one-person exhibition at Wittenborn One-Wall Gallery in New York in 1953.
In 1965 he was included in the famous exhibition "The Responsive Eye" at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. During the 1970's he exhibited regularly at the André Emmerich Gallery. The Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris mounted a retrospective of his work in 1979, and in 1980 the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo organized a traveling retrospective.