“The painting is always created from the encounter of two emotions, just like the feeling of love between two people. As the artist embraces the canvas, the naked surface surrenders,utterly defenceless, to his will"
- Pordenone Montanari
Pordenone Montanari (Americo Montanari) is a 78 year old Italian genius. A painter, sculptor, author and poet, Montanari was, until late 2007, settled in the tranquillity of his villa in Valle San Nicolao, Italy, at the foothills of the Alps. He emerged in 2007, after 18 years in near total isolation. His wife, Flavia Cappellari, has been a constant companion and support. The monumental works of Montanari are enhanced by his enigmatic existence.
The pictured sculpture above (being worked on) displayed as a signature work and featured in the ongoing exhibition in the Comune di Pordenone - ASSEDIO ALLA FORMA in the GALLERIA HARRY BERTOIA is owned by Raja Khara.
Apart from a large number of paintings and sculptures, Montanari has authored nine novels and two collections of poems.
Montanari is a recognised master, who was unknown only because of his extended seclusion and his decision to stay away from the spotlight. Intensely private, until now, he had limited interaction with restricted people and considered even a moment away from art as a “waste of time”. This protracted period was a self-imposed exile. Montanari is now at his creative and prolific best.
Montanari was born on 10th March 1937 in Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Pordenone, in Northern Italy. He was named Americo Montanari, though he adopted the name of his birthplace, Pordenone.
Montanari started practicing his art early at his maternal uncle’s studio. He met Flavia Cappellari in 1961 in Milan and they married soon thereafter. In 1962, while studying philosophy at the Università Statale, Montanari studied a course in sculpture at the Academia di Brera. He moved to Paris in 1967, and frequented the studio of the renowned painter, Orfeo Tamburi, who encouraged and advised him. He would visit the Musée du Louvre everyday with “tension and attention”. During the turbulence of the anti-authoritarian movement of May 1968 in Paris, he lived with his wife on Rue St. Placide.
In 1969 Montanari lived for six months in Estepona, Spain, and then till 1972 in Allgau, Germany, followed by a year in Alicante, again in Spain; all the while evolving his own language of expression in painting, sculpture and literature. Assimilating different cultures, he relocated to Milan in 1973 and formed a close friendship with the artist, Renato Guttuso, who died in 1987 at the age of 76.
In 1990, Montanari settled in Valle San Nicolao in Biella, at the foothills of the Alps, in a 12,000 sq ft villa with 60,000 sq ft of gardens, which Flavia and he tended. This was his habitat for 18 years, living in total self-imposed isolation, shut from any interaction or transaction with the outside world. He only practised his art. This involved painting, sculpting works including in his gardens, and literature. Despite the solitude, and the limited influence of the outside world, Montanari has grown and matured as an artist. Possibly, because of the solitude and lack of direct exposure to the art world, his creations have a rare independence and spontaneity. Montanari’s creativity and versatility, passion and intense focus, are apparent in his works.
In 2007, Montanari decided to move back to his birthplace in Pordenone, sold the Villa to Cinzia Albertini, and Raja Khara and started to step out, in a controlled manner, and considering his isolation, sought her guidance.
Photo credit: Raja Khara