Marco Tirelli

Marco Tirelli (b. 1956, Italy) is an artist whose practice explores notions of painting and sculpture, often with mesmerising consequences. His academic and versatile use of light and darkness results in complex spatial distillations, informed by numerous sources. These include his studies as a set designer and his interpretations of the layered histories of Rome and Spoleto, his hometowns. Tirelli began exhibiting in the 1970s as part of the New Roman School. Tirelli activates the mental realms of collective cultural memory and conventional conceptions of value. Subtle yet provocative, Tirelli’s distinctive explorations of objecthood are showcased through traditional approaches to painting, including the use of geometry, proportion, symmetry, illusionistic plays of light and shadow, and an awareness of the surface. 

Tirelli participated in the Venice Biennale in 1982, the first of three appearances there, the latest of which came in 2013, where he presented a large-scale installation, Studiolo, as part of the Italian Pavilion. The same year,  he had an exhibition at the American Academy in Rome, where his series of drawings were placed in conversation with the works of American artist Sol LeWitt. In 2001, he presented a site-specific installation at the Fondazione Volume! in Rome, where he engaged painting in an environmental dimension. 

Tirelli graduated in scenography with Toti Scialoja at the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome. He lives and works between Rome and Spoleto, Italy. In 2023, Tirelli became the president of the Accademia Nazionale di San Luca; he is also a member of the Academy of Virtuosi of the Pantheon.

Selected Exhibitions

Axel Vervoordt Gallery, Antwerp and Hong Kong (2023); Institut Mathildenhöhe, Darmstadt (1987); Modern Art Gallery (GAM), Bologna (1988); National Gallery of Modern Art, Rome (2019); Museum of Palazzo Fortuny, Venice (2010); MACRO, Rome (2012); German Academy of Villa Massimo, Rome (2013); Instituto Nazionale per la Grafica, Rome (2013); Fondazione Cerere in Rome (2017); Museum of Contemporary Art, Ankara (1989); Sydney Biennial, Sydney (1990); Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul (1989); Venice Biennale, Venice (2013).

Selected Collections

MAXXI Museo Nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo, Rome; La Galleria Nazionale, Rome; MACRO Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Rome; Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Farnesina Art Collection, Rome; European Parliament Art Collection, Brussels; MART, Museo di arte moderna e contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto, Rovereto; Il Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci, Prato; Palazzo Fortuny, Venice; the Albertina Museum, Wien; Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Wien; Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, Taiwan.

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