Ali Aras with Piero Dorazio
Piero Dorazio was born on June 29, 1927 in Rome, where he studied architecture at the University of Rome from 1945 to 1951. About the same time he joined the Arte Sociale group. In 1947 he co-founded Forma 1, the first group of Italian abstract artists. Also in 1947 Dorazio was awarded a scholarship to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, where he spent a year and met Jean Arp, Georges Braque, Le Corbusier, Sonia Delaunay and Vantongerloo. In 1950 he co-founded the influential cooperative gallery “Age d’Or” in Rome and Florence and in 1955 he published the first book on international Modern art to appear in Italy: "La Fantasia Dell-Arte Nella Vita Moderna".
In 1953 he traveled to the United States, where he met Rothko, Motherwell, Kline and Clement Greenberg. In the same year he gave his first personal exhibitions at the Rose Fried Gallery and the Wittenborn One-Wall Gallery, both in New York. After returning to Rome in 1954, Dorazio periodically visited Paris, London and Berlin. In 1957 a year of extensive travel to Spain, Anibes and Switzerland he held his first one-man show in Roma at the “Galleria La Tartaruga”. From 1960 to 1969 he taught at the Graduate School of Fine Arts at the University of Pennsylvania. After visits to Greece, Africa and the Middle East in the early seventies he settled in a hermitage in Todi, Italy. He was included in the famous exhibition "The Responsive Eye" at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1965. The Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris held a major Retrospective in 1979, and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo organized a traveling retrospective in 1980. In 1983 the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea in Rome showed a personal exhibition of his work. He also exhibited regularly in New York (where the Guggenheim Museum holds a substantial collection of his work). He participated at major international shows, such as the Venice Biennale, where the artist exhibited in 1960, 1966 and 1988. During the following years he had numerous private and public commissions such as the creation of large-scale mosaics in Rome’s subway system. The artist died in Perugia in May 2005. Dorazio had a long and fruitful collaboration with Aras. The gallery held numerous exhibitions of his work including a comprehensive retrospective in 2002, which later traveled to the Institut Valencià d'Art Modern (IVAM). Aras published Dorazio's largest graphical cycle "Amici Colori" comprising fifteen original serigraphs and several other graphic works.