Born in Bagheria (Palermo) on 4 June 1943, Salvatore
Provino moved to Rome as a young man. Here he used to visit the studio
of his fellow citizen Renato Guttuso. In 1964, at the
young age of 21, in the Galleria Consorti in Rome the artist held his
first solo exhibition, which evoked places from his childhood.
hometown, the faces of its citizens, marked by the passage of time and
hard labour, and the countryside, with its dramatic, tragic colours
reminiscent of ancient Greek culture, all deeply influenced his artistic
By the late 1960s, his
painting was approaching the sensitivity of English art and especially
that of F. Bacon. In this figurative stage of his career, the artist was
also influenced by Sironi, choosing to focus on subjects that through
the dramatic quality of the human figure enabled him to explore the
difficult living conditions of a social class experiencing the effects
of the industrialization process and the exploitation of man.
After a series
of encounters with the mathematician and philosopher L. Lombardo Radice,
in 1974 the artist drew upon Lobachevsky's theories on
the sphericalness of the body and geometry as the structure of physical
space. Geometry grew spherical, structures appeared to levitate and
forms became dynamic through a conceptual research that made mathematics
increasingly resemble art, with intuitive and creative essence as the
origin of every theoretical and empirical pursuit.
after a journey to Peru, Provino developed an extraordinary dialectic in
his painting between geometries and philosophy, the visible and the
invisible. This marked the beginning of what may genuinely be regarded
as the mature stage in his career, where painting consisting of matter
and colours served as the chief means of pursuing expressive research
into a dynamic and infinite world: through a painstaking pictorial
execution and gestural touches, the artist succeeded in conveying what
the physical space of the canvas would not otherwise have allowed him to
1986, held in high repute, he was invited to take the
Chair of Painting in the Palermo Academy of Fine Arts. He later joined
the University of Naples.
1990s, the artist has held a range of solo exhibitions
– along with some prestigious international ones – in important public
spaces in Italy: the Palazzo dei Diamanti in Ferrara, Palazzo
delle Esposizioni in Rome, Castel dell’Ovo in Naples and
Magazzini del Sale in Cervia, to mention but a few.
2002 he was the first Western artist to display his
works in the National Museum of China in
Beijing, as well as the most important museums in the cities of
Shenzhen, Shenyang, Canton,
Shanghai, Hong Kong and
Changshu. This marked the beginning of a decade of
international exhibitions that brought Provino to Greece, the United
States, Bulgaria and Argentina, although he also continues to regularly
exhibit his works in his native Sicily.