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Franco Costalonga was born in Venice in 1933. He began as a self-taught painter but later attended the local art school and studied painting privately under Remigio Butera. He debuted as a printmaker at the 51st collective of the Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa in Venice, and was awarded a prize. He subsequently devoted himself to painting and produced a series of works which reflected his interest in color theory.
During the second half of the 1960s, he joined the Dialettica delle Tendenze group, which had been founded in 1965 by Domenico Cara, and started employing different materials in an attempt to create new surfaces that could generate three-dimensional forms. His research brought him into contact with the Sette-Veneto group, which was presided over by Bruno Munari and linked to Brescia’s Centro Operativo Sincron. Costalonga was thus able to thoroughly develop his interest in kinetic and visual effects, leading to the production of new works that were honored at the 55th Collettiva of the Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa. In 1969 Peggy Guggenheim acquired Costalonga's Sphere, made of Perspex and chromium metal, for her collection in Palazzo Venier dei Leoni.
Costalonga was the recipient of numerous awards and honors for his work in the field of furnishings and design, and took part in numerous national and international art shows, including the 1966 Rome Quadriennale, the itinerant exhibition organized by The Arts Council of Great Britain in 1970, and the Venice Biennale that same year. He participated in the Grands et Jeunes d’aujourd’hui - Art cinetique Peinture-Sculpture exhibition at the Grand Palais of Paris in 1972, and, two years later, in the Internationale Kunstmesse-Art5 exhibition in Basel. In 1978 he joined the Verifica 8+1 group, comprising artists of the Veneto region who were exploring concrete and structural art. In the 1980s and 1990s he took part in several Venice Biennales and was included in the 2002 Themes and Variations: Postwar Art from the Guggenheim Collections exhibition at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. Franco Costalonga died in Venice on June 19, 2019.