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Carlo Ciussi was born on January 25, 1930 in Udine, Italy. After an apprenticeship in Fred Pittino’s painting studio, he attended art school in Venice from 1945 to 1949. There he met the most important figures in Venetian art at the time: Emilio Vedova and Giuseppe Santomaso. He also had the opportunity to see works by artists such as Pablo Picasso and Gino Rossi at the first post-war Venice Biennale in 1948. After leaving Venice to work with his father in Udine in 1949, he continued painting and began createing dynamic works influenced by Expressionism and Neo-Cubism. In 1955 he exhibited at the Rome Quadriennale.
In 1964 he was invited to take part in the Venice Biennale, then moved to Milan, where he was offered a contract by the Galleria Stendhal which allowed him to devote his time entirely to painting. It was around this period that Ciussi transitioned from figuration to abstraction. In 1965 his work was again exhibited at the Rome Quadriennale. In 1967, he was invited to take part in the 9th São 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, near Udine. This was followed by another 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 again at the Venice Biennale.
In the 1990s and the early 2000s, Ciussi participated in a number of important shows across 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. Carlo Ciussi died in Udine on April 23, 2012. In 2016, as part of the Postwar Era exhibition held at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, a gallery was dedicated to his work.