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Nanni Valentini (Sant'Angelo in Vado, 1932 - Vimercate, 1985)

In 1945 he began attending the Art School for Ceramic Decoration in Pesaro, and in 1949 to the Art Institute in Faenza, which he attended until 1953, after which he began attending the Academy in Bologna.

In 1956 he joined the circle of Liverani's Galleria La Salita and became friends with Gastone Novelli, Emilio Villa and Gino Marotta; he won first prizes at the XIV Concorso di Faenza and at the 11th Exhibition of Ceramics in Vicenza, followed by many others over the years.In autumn 1957 he moved to Milan, where he exhibited at Triennale Milano and began to design the “Natura” series with Luigi Massoni. He attended Arnaldo and Giò Pomodoro, Ettore Sottsass and Lucio Fontana, who organised his first solo exhibition in Milan at Ariete, in 1958. 

During the crucial decade 1975-1985, Valentini was recognised as one of the greatest living ceramic sculptors; in the late 1950s, he worked with Lucio Fontana on the monumental Melandri Grave in Faenza and won the Faenza Prize in 1956, 1961 and 1977 and the Syracuse Museum of Fine Arts Prize in 1958. In 1976 he established himself on the Milanese scene with a memorable solo exhibition of paintings and sculptures at Carla Pellegrini's Galleria Milano.

In the early 1980s he presented a series of solo exhibitions in leading galleries, such as Babel in Heilbronn in 1981. In 1982 he got a solo space at the Venice Biennale and was featured in “La sovrana inattualità” at the Museum des XX. Jahrhunderts in Vienna.

In 1984 he presented an important solo exhibition at the PAC - Padiglione d'Arte Contemporanea in Milan and his Crater became part of the permanent collection of the Civico Museo d'Arte Contemporanea in Milan, at Palazzo Reale. He exhibited at the Museu de Ceràmica in Barcelona.

He died suddenly on 5 December 1985.

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