Enrico Gaudino
Enrico Gaudino was born in Valle San Nicolao, a small village in the hills above Biella, 14 February 1923. His childhood was one of a rural atmosphere still steeped in the 19th century, where his parents were farm labourers, and his natural surroundings were the woods and animals, all of which formed his primitive language; these were the images which Enrico would endeavour to draw all his life. His expressiveness did not pass unnoticed and he, at a very early age, was apprenticed to a local firm which specialized in the restoration of religious buildings. The constant contact with religious art, frescoes and graffiti roused great enthusiasm in Enrico inducing in him the desire to further his knowledge and to produce his own personal form of art. Enrico now entered a passionate period of artistic research through drawing and painting which he went on to perfect in Turin at the age of only 18. These were years of great hardship following the Great War but his love of art carried him through these difficult years which he witnessed in his works. Once the war was over, Enrico Guadino, an artist of particular sensitiveness and who had developed a strong feeling for the art of De Pisis, Matisse, Redon discovered in himself a spirit for Surrealism and Melancholy which the art of engraving, in its essentialism, seemed ideally suited to his temperament. Interest in his work caught the attention of many notable Biellese families, among these Sella, who encouraged him to continue his research into the art of engraving and to make himself known further afield. He thus left his valleys, its people taking to Milan nostalgia which was never to leave him. Here he was immediately noticed and accepted into the artistic world of the 50s as one of the emerging young artists of the time. He worked enthusiastically producing etchings on neorealism themes, holding numerous personal exhibitions and receiving awards throughout Italy: the esteem of colleagues and art-galleries placed him in the forefront of the new Italian engravers. He was to know Carrą, Picasso, Stravinskij, Tancredi among others. After marrying Elena Del Puglia he became father to Luca. He was to be offered the Chair of engraving at the Brera Art Academy, but he did not accept this post wishing to dedicate his whole time on his work. His house became the meeting place of artists among whom were, Bodini, Cappello, Francese and Paolini. His atelier was an experimental laboratory where artists such as Chighine, Ferrone, Guerreschi, Rognoni and Treccani were frequently to be found. He was a contemporary of the artistic avant-guarde and this plus being influenced by new artistic trends, his work was to be more and more closely connected to a figurative expression; the following critics were to comment on his work: Raffaele De Grada, Mario De Micheli, Giorgio Mascherpa, Giorgio Trentin and the artrists, Emilio Greco and Ernesto Treccani. His works were exhibited in Germany, France and Holland in the 60s; later they were to be seen in Russia and the United States, however he fought shy of mundane or commercial environments or of being omnipresent which was far from his style. In the 70s, though still maintaining his large, well equipped studio in Milan, he designed a house outside, the city where he produced his most mature works. His creations in this period were characterised by a notable surreal atmosphere, which can be seen in his return to original themes and a surprisingly new love for painting. Towards the end of the 90s trembling in his hands interrupted his art. Enrico Gaudino ended his days on 3 December, 2001 and now rests among his hills above Valle San Nicolao.
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