Ugo Nespolo was born in Mosso (Biella). He graduated in Modern Literature from the University of Torino and he then graduated from the Albertina Academy of Fine Arts in the same city.
A versatile artist, he works in a wide range of disciplines, from painting to cinema and sculpture.
In the late sixties he was part of Schwarz Gallery in Milano, which included among its artists Duchamp, Picabia, Schwitters, Arman.
His first exhibition in Milano was presented by Pierre Restany and it was entitled Machines and Conditional Objects. In a way, this exhibition represents the climate and the innovations of the group that Germano Celant will call “Arte Povera”.
In 1967 he was a pioneer of Italian Experimental Cinema following his meeting with Jonas Mekas, P. Adams Sitney, Andy Warhol, Yōko Ono, in the wake of the New American Cinema. In Paris Man Ray gave him a text for a movie that Nespolo would have shot with the title Revolving Doors. Baj, Fontana, Pistoletto, Boetti and Merz are among the interpreters of his movies screened and discussed in major museums including the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Tate Modern in London, the Venice Biennale.
Nespolo was also one of the major pataphysical authorities and he founded the “Istituto Patafisico Ticinese” with Ernico Baj. In the late 1960s he began a series of Fluxus Concerts with Ben Vautier, including the first Italian concert entitled Les Mots et les Choses.
Strongly convinced that the artist’s figure cannot but be that of an intellectual, he assiduously studies and writes about the facts and disciplines that deal with aesthetics and art system. On January 29th, 2019 the University of Torino awarded him an Honorary Degree in Philosophy.
He has exhibited several times in galleries and museums in Italy and around the world.
Photo credits Giovanni Gastel