Home » Artists » Marilla Battilana



Milan 1932 - Udine 2021


Maria Battilana was a painter, poet, writer and academic. After her first experiences in figurative painting she actively joined the artistic research and practice of the groups of the Italian avant-garde. She is one of the first enthusiasts of Visual Poetry since the mid 1960s, forming an encounter between image, word and textual modes of communication. At the end of the 1990s, she develops an expressive code based on the transmutations of the sign: a personal language, a synthesis of sign and light, vibrant like the sound on the stave. She was a professor of English and American Studies at Ca’ Foscari University in Venice and she wrote books on anglophone literature.

Critical text

“In Battilana’s work the visualization of performative poetry is harmonized and fused with the flutter of a heartbeat, or an eyelid. Her poetry is composed with a neo idealistic philosophical stance (in Greek poiein means to do). It exudes life-giving erudition and philology; it has a solid literary and pictorial background, with linguistic and philological knowledge. Her painting is like a poem and her poetry is like a painting. Her diachronic works pulsate with the same lifeblood as her synchronic works. Sometimes scientific, sometimes poetic. They are never meaningless. (…) Battilana extracts from honeycombs and harvests poetic honey. Battilana is a wild silk butterfly poet.”

_Franco Verdi