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Carlo Ciussi was born on January 25, 1930 in Udine. After an apprenticeship in Fred Pittino’s painting studio, he attended the art school in Venice from 1945 to 1949 and met two of the most well-known Venetian artists, Emilio Vedova and Giuseppe Santomaso. He also had the opportunity to see the works by artists such as Picasso and Gino Rossi in the first post-war Biennale in 1948. Although in 1949 he left Venice to work with his father in Udine, he never stopped painting and created works in a very dynamic style, characterized by expressionist and neo-Cubist references. In 1955 he exhibited at the 7th Quadriennale Nazionale d’Arte in Rome.
In 1964 he was invited to take part in the 32nd Venice Biennale, and then moved to Milan, having been offered a contract by the Galleria Stendhal, which allowed him to devote himself to painting. It is around this period that he passes from figuration to abstraction. In 1965 his work was again exhibited at the 9th Quadriennale Nazionale d’Arte in Rome. In 1967, he was invited to take part in the 9th Sao Paulo Bienal in Brazil and had his first solo exhibition at the Galerie Paul Facchetti in Paris. Ciussi’s first retrospective was held in 1974 at Palazzo Torriani in Gradisca d’Isonzo, followed by the one organized in 1977 at the Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea, Ferrara, and a solo show at the Lorenzelli Arte gallery in Milan in 1980. In 1986 he exhibited at the 42nd Biennale di Venezia.
In the 1990s and in the the early years of the new millennium, Ciussi participated in various important shows throughout Italy. In 2011, the Civici Musei di Udine exhibited Carlo Ciussi 1964-2011, and the Neuer Kunstverein in Aschaffenburg and the Stadtgalerie in Klagenfurt organized retrospectives in his honor. In 1970 Ciussi had moved to Cividale del Friuli and later returned to Udine, where he remained until his death on April 23, 2012. In 2016, on the occasion of the exhibition Postwar Era at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, a gallery was dedicated to his work.