Castel Bolognese (RA) - ITALY, 1911 – 1988

Angelo Biancini completed his sculpture studies at the Art Institute of Florence with Maestro Libero Andreotti. In the 1930s he was already famous: he accomplished some significant bronze works (portraits, funeral and monumental works, such as the two groups of statues for the Ponte delle Vittorie in Verona in 1937), installed a marble work at the Foro Mussolini (another piece would follow, for the Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana [‘Palace of Italian Civilization’] in the E42 district), participated in the Venice Biennale for the first time (1934) and cooperated with ENAPI, the institution through whom he went on to exhibit at the 6th Triennale in Milan. In 1937 he moved to Laveno to cooperate with Guido Andlovitz in the artistic direction of the Società Ceramica Italiana [Italian Ceramic Company]. His characteristic adhesion to ‘the real and the true’ found its expression in ceramics (decorative objects, vases, sculptures of little and big dimensions) with a strong sense of plasticity. Among the most significant works, Bimba portatrice di pane [‘Little girl carrying bread’] and the big sculptures Diana the Huntress, Actaeon and Orpheus. In 1940 he participated in the 7th Triennale in Milan. Returning to Faenza in 1942 he started teaching modelling at the Istituto d’Arte per la Ceramica [‘The Institute of Ceramics Art’], where he remained until 1981. In 1946 he was awarded the Premio Faenza [Faenza Prize] for the work Annunciazione [Annunciation]; he won this prize again in 1957. In 1946 he was invited to the first big exhibition of Italian sculpture of the postwar period, organized by the Della Spiga Gallery in Milan. He caught the attention of national critics thanks to two solo exhibitions, at the Galleria dell’Illustrazione Italiana in 1948 and at the Galleria San Fedele in 1956. From these years on, ceramics became his privileged, yet not exclusive, means of expression. He was entrusted with many commissions for monumental works, both from Italy and abroad: the reliefs for the new Basilica in Nazareth (1959), the sculpted cycle for the Ospedale Maggiore in Milan (1964), the Wedding at Cana for the Church of the Autostrada del Sole [Motorway] in Florence (1964), then followed by sculpted installations in Madrid, Miami, Jerusalem, Algiers and Buenos Aires. In 1973 he was given his own exhibition room inside the Collection of Modern Art section of the Vatican Museums.