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Maurizio Nannucci was born in Florence on April 20, 1939. He studied at Florence’s Fine Art Academy and in Berlin before working for many years with experimental theater groups as a set designer. During the first half of the 1960s, he consolidated the basic elements of what would become his visual language by exploring the rapport between art, language, and image, and by creating the first Dattilogrammi, in which words reclaim their strength as symbols. At the same time he was in contact with Fluxus artists, developed an interest for visual poetry, and collaborated with the studio “S 2F M” (Studio di Fonologia Musicale, Florence) to produce electronic music. Nannucci focused on using the voice and words to produce sound installations.
In 1967, during his first solo exhibition at the Centro Arte Viva, Trieste, he presented his first neon light texts, thus emphasizing the temporary quality of writing and not the material quality of objects. In 1968 he founded the publishing house Exempla in Florence and Zona Archives Edizioni, both of which published books and catalogues on artists like Sol Le Witt, John Armleder, James Lee Byars, Robert Filliou, and Ian Hamilton Finlay. Nannucci believes that publications and multiples are themselves manifestations of a type of artistic practice that considers art a mental process, one that can be applied to the mass production of everyday objects in order to unify divergent threads in art. The art object may lose its uniqueness, but it gains presence and new freedom.
During the 1990s the artist renewed his interest in the relationship between work, architecture, and urban landscape by collaborating with the architects Auer & Weber, Mario Botta, Massimiliano Fuksas, and Renzo Piano. Some of his permanent installations can be seen at the Auditiorium of the Parco Della Musica and Fiumicino airport, both in Rome, and at the Bibliothek des Deutschen Bundestages, Berlin. Nannucci has been a featured artist at the Venice Biennale several times and has participated in Documenta, Kassel, and the São Paulo, Sydney, Istanbul, and Valencia biennials. His work belongs to museum collections all over the world, including those of The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; and the Paul Getty Art Center, Los Angeles.