Home » Artists » Mirella Bentivoglio



Klagenfurt 1922 - Roma 2017


Mirella Bentivoglio was a poet, artist, critic, curator and a key figure in the Italian and international verbo-visual art scene. She was born in Klagenfurt, Austria, in 1922, to Italian parents and had a multilingual upbringing in German-speaking Switzerland and in England (where she obtained her Proficiency diploma in English). Bentivoglio began writing and publishing poetry in Italian and in English when he was young, (edited by Scheiwiller and Vallecchi, and reviewed by Giorgio Caproni, Italo Defeo, Mario Praz). She then found her vocation for expression in language and image, and joined the international neo avant-garde verbo-visual artistic movements of the second half of the 20thcentury and became one of its main protagonists. She died in Rome, aged 94, in 2017.


Personal exhibitions

Mirella Bentivoglio had numerous solo shows, mainly in public venues, in Italy, Spain, Germany, England, Holland, the Czech Republic, United States, Brazil and Japan, (presented by Italian and foreign critics such as Enrico Crispolti, Gillo Dorfles, Frances Pohl e Krystyna Wasserman). Some of her most memorable anthologies were held in the Galleria Schwarz Gallery in Milan (1971), in the Pictogram Gallery in Rome (1973), at Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome (1996), the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington (1999), and more recently in the Oculus Gallery in Tokyo (2010), Pomona College in Claremont (2003 and 2015), the Gubbio Biennial (2016), the Gallery of Engraving in Brescia (2018),  the MACMA (Matino and Lecce, between 2011 and 2013), the Nuova Era Museum in Bari (2018) and the Conceptual Gallery in Milan (2019). In 2019, a solo show of more than forty of her works from the Garrera Collection, was presented at the Laboratory of Contemporary Art Museum at the Sapienza University in Rome.

In the centenary year, 2022, the artist is the protagonist of many events, such as the exhibition at the Gramma_Epsilon Gallery titled The other side of the moon, Mirella Bentivoglio’s first retrospective in Greece, and the anthology Quanto Bentivoglio? at the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea of Rome. The artist’s latest solo exhibition took place in 2023 at the Hubert Winter Gallery in Vienna.

Collective exhibitions

Bentivoglio participated in collectives in museums, galleries and universities in Europe, America, the East and Far East, Canada and Australia. She exhibited ten times at the Venice Biennial: in 1969 and 1972, twice in 1978 and again in 1980, 1986, 1995, 2001 and 2009 and her work were present at the 59th edition of the Venice Biennial ‘The Milk of Dreams’, in 2022, curated by Cecilia Alemani. She took part in the XI National Quadrennial in Rome, 1986, and participated in the Sao Paolo Brazil Biennial three times between 1973 and 1994, and three times at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, between 1978 and 1982. Her work was on show at Documenta Kassel in 1982, the MoMA in New York in 1992, Palazzo Pitti in Florence in 2001, Milan Expo in 2015, and the Getty Center in Los Angeles in 2018.


Curatorial activity

She curated and presented collectives and exhibitions at the Biennials in Venice, Sao Paolo, and Medellin; at Colombia University, New York; the Italian Cultural Institute in Tokyo; Centro Pecci in Prato; Recife Museum, Brazil; Perth Festival, Australia; Expo-Art in Bari; Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome; in Greece, Spain, Finland and the MoMA in New York. Her donations of artworks, acquired over the years during her curatorial activity, have enriched permanent collections in museums such as the National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rome, the MART in Rovereto, the MUSINF in Senigallia, the Nori de’ Nobili Museum in Trecastelli, the Pecci in Prato, MACMa in Matino and the MAGA in Gallarate.