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Antonio Calderara

"Painting the void, emptiness, which is everything, silence, light, order, harmony. Infinity."


Notes of biography

Antonio Calderara is born in 1903 in Abbiategrasso (Italy). He studies engineer, soon after he stops studying this field in 1925 to devote exclusively to painting. His first true personal exhibition is organized in 1929. Calderara is a self-educated artist. In his first years of creation, the artist works in an impressionist style: landscapes, dead natures near to the meditative style of Morandi, the portraits, some genre works, religious paintings; his style then presents stylized forms, a rigorous composition and a reduced color palette. The subjects are covered in intimist way, very often in small sizes. Calderara, whose work is somehow related to “magic realism”, meets a broad success. From 1930 to 1950, the artist experiments, tries several ways.
It is in the landscapes founded around the Lake Orta - where he lives for many years - that Antonio Calderara draws his own artistic expression; he abandons landscape and still life to access a purely abstract world where reality is only appearance.
In 1959, Calderara paints his first entire abstract work. He develops an abstraction in pastel colors which reminds the works of Josef Albers, working on the interaction of colors. The numbers and proportions having great importance for the artist, he describes his geometric approach of "mental space" (spazio mentale). His works are then characterized by the purification of form, color and structure. He befriends with Lucio Fontana, Piero Manzoni and Soto. From 1959, his oils paintings, watercolors, show - often in a square format - compositions on the horizontal and vertical; his palette, almost monochrome, reflects the light and space in where order and silence reign.
Calderara participates in many group exhibitions: Venice Biennial Event (1948 and 1956), Quadrennial of Rome (1948), etc. Among the many exhibitions organized around his work, stand those of the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (1977), and after his disappearance, the Kunstverein in Düsseldorf and the Wilhelm-Hack Museum in Ludwigshafen (1981 and 1982). Qualified of "Morandi of concrete painting", the work of Antonio Calderara is represented in the Museum of Grenoble and a large exhibition is held in Genoa (Villa Croce, 1996).
The artist dies in Vacciago, commune of Ameno (Italy) in 1978.

Artists on display

The art and the artists display: proclamations, galleries, museums, personal or collective exhibitions. On walls or in shop windows, wise or rebels, posters warn, argue, show. Some were specially conceived by an artist for such or such event, other, colder, have only the letter.

Some were created in lithographic technic, most are simple offset reproductions. They are many those who like collecting these rectangles of paper, monochrome or in games of colours, in matt paper or brilliant, with many words or almost dumb.

We are happy also to be able to greet, by this pages, mythical galleries as those of Denise René, Louis Carré, Claude Bernard, Berheim Jeune, Maeght, Pierre Loeb and others.


Complete work(s)

Complete work(s)
Non réalisé à ce jour. All the complete works

Bibliographic track and more

To read about the artist :
  • « 15 disegni di Antonio Calderara », A. Pica, Ed. Del Milione, Milan, 1957
  • « Calderara », Murillo Mendes, cat., Ed. All'Insegna del Pesce d'oro, Milan, 196
  • « Antonio Calderara », catalogue, Galerie Denise René, Paris, 1971
  • « Antonio Calderara », Friedrich W. Heckmanns, Wienland Verlag, 1981
  • « Calderara - Antologica », F. Gualdoni, L. Giudici, cat., Novara, Ed. Mazzotta, 1997
  • « Das Werk Antonio Calderara », Annette Wittboldt, Ed. Olms, 199
  • « Antonio Calderara - Dipinti 1926-1971 », P. Weiermair, Ed. Skira, 2003
  • « Calderara. L’opera astratta », Museo del Paesaggio, Palazzo, Ed. Silvana, 2007
  • « Antonio Calderara 1903-1978 », P. Bacuzzi, L. Caramel, Ed. Skira, 2013
  • « Antonio Calderara », collectif, Ed. Acc Art Books, 2017
To read from the artist :
  • « Racconto di un pittore », G. Lucini, Ed. All'insegna del pesce d'oro, Milan, 1
  • « Calderara in Briefen und Gesprächen », R. Jochims, Ed. Kunsthalle Kiel, 1978
Website :
No website dedicated to the artist.

More :

Art movements

+ OPTICAL ART / 1955-1968 / Nicolas Schöffer (cybernetic art), Larry Poons, Bridget Riley, etc.
All art movements

See & discover

Beyond works currently in stock, it seemed to me useful to combine business with pleasure by letting you discover others works by artists in my gallery. These artworks, now sold or removed from our website, have been in our stock in the past.

These pages will undoubtedly make it possible for some of you to associate an image with its title or the other way round, for others it will be a good time to discover more on such and such artist. For the sake of confidentiality – the pieces being no longer available – we won't display neither their numbering or their price. For whatever reason, make sure to visit this amazing art database with to date 6441 online works just for your pleasure! Michelle Champetier

See & discover