Luigi Boille

Born in Pordenone in 1926, Luigi Boille gained his diploma in painting from the Rome Fine Arts Academy in 1949. The following year he graduated in architecture from La Sapienza University and, after having travelled around Europe and then lived in Amsterdam for a few months, he settled in Paris.


Born in Pordenone in 1926, Luigi Boille gained his diploma in painting from the Rome Fine Arts Academy in 1949. The following year he graduated in architecture from La Sapienza University and, after having travelled around Europe and then lived in Amsterdam for a few months, he settled in Paris.

Already in 1953 his painting showed a mature and original assimilation of lyrical abstraction which was to bring him close to the Jeune École de Paris group (of which Pierre Restany was soon to become the promoter); with it he exhibited in numerous group shows, including Phasen, the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (1957), and Nuove tendenze dell’Arte italiana, at the Roma/New York Art Foundation in Rome (1958). In Paris he soon came into contact with the famous critic Michel Tapié who actively introduced him to the lively cultural climate of the time; he identified Boille as one of the artists who were undertaking art researches into Art autre and who, with his mellow brushstrokes, captured “baroque elements” which, however, were balanced by a “classical” formal rigour. If on the one hand the works from this period show, in the choice of colours, an interest in the colour-light typical of the Fauve artists, on the other hand they have a great emotional weight that, as was highlighted by the critics of the time, made Boille come close to such West Coast artists as Clifford Still and Mark Tobey.

In 1964, invited by the curator Lawrence Alloway, Boille represented Italy at the Guggenheim International Award, New York, together with Capogrossi, Castellani, and Fontana. In 1965, having returned to Rome, he took part in the Quadriennale and, in the following year, he was invited to the XXXIII Venice Biennale (where he was to return in 2011 for the LIV edition). The five large-scale canvases he exhibited at the Biennale, dating from the 1960s, also as a result of the intervention of the Dutch art expert John Nicholas Streep, soon entered such important American collections as that of Joseph Hirshhorn, works that are now conserved in the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Collection of the Smithsonian Institute, Washington DC. Towards the end of the decade, Boille’s painting began to develop in a different direction, with dense fields of animated and bright colours. In 1969 he settled in Rome where, from 1965, he had had a studio in Villa Poniatowski, near to those of Perilli, Dorazio, Savinio, and other artists. His return to Rome was a watershed in the life of Boille - who from then on became increasingly solitary, wholly concerned with art research - and was to see him pass frenetically from dense coloured canvases to tiny forms, and then to evolve in the 1970s towards swarming arabesques, with rigorous and precise brushstrokes and a lightning-fast execution. In the works from this period the marks became tiny and light, almost calligraphic. The first yellow canvases, presented by Argan in 1974 at the Naviglio gallery in Milan, were to be followed by the black and white ones exhibited at the Galleria Editalia, Rome, and then by his refined grey pictures.

In the 1980s Boille began to return to material and to colour; this is seen at its most mature in the series titled Centralità which was exhibited at Palazzzo dei Diamanti in Ferrara in 1984, presented in the catalogue by Filiberto Menna. The compact central nucleus then evolved towards a radiating diffusion with the series Empatia di Luce (1986). In the following years he exhibited large-scale works in various exhibitions in Rome, Milan, and Paris. At the end of the 1980s the surfaces of his paintings became apparently more monochrome, dominated by layers of ochre, violet, and muddy colours that seem the trajectories of meteorites. This can be seen in the Tracce di luce series, exhibited in 1989 at the Galerie 16, Paris.

In 1990 and 1991 there was a return to a surface full of marks on an often monochrome background; these works were shown at the Galerie Roubaud in Munich. In the following years the works became increasingly smaller, and had the same intensity that he devoted to his large-scale works. He also showed great interest on working on paper: temperas, watercolours, as well as lithographs and etchings, were techniques employed for series of works that were even more original than his paintings. In 1997 he returned to Paris with a solo show with a catalogue presentation by Pierre Restany; here he exhibited his recent black and white canvases. At the same time his usual gallery, the Stadler, exhibited some large works from the 1970s. From 2000 to 2014 Boille was to be seen in various group shows in Italy and abroad, with works with rarefied marks on coloured fields. He held his last show in 2014 in Alessandria.

He died in Rome on 20 April 2015.



Roma, Casino dei Principi - Villa Torlonia, Luigi Boille. Luoghi di luce, scrittura del silenzio. Opere 1958-2015



Lissone (MB), MAC – Museo d’Arte Contemporanea



Pordenone, Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea “Armando Pizzinato”

Roma, Galleria Arte e Pensieri



Roma, Galleria d’Arte Marchetti

San Gemini (TR), Stazione di posta



Alessandria, Galleria Il Triangolo nero; Milano, Galleria Spaziotemporaneo



Roma, Galleria d’Arte Marchetti - with Eliseo Sonnino



Roma, Galleria d’Arte Marchetti



Roma, Galleria Arte e Pensieri



Roma, Galleria d’Arte Marchetti



Roma, Galleria d’Arte Marchetti



Roma, Galleria Arte e Pensieri

Roma, Galleria Arte e Pensieri - with Carlo Lorenzetti



Locarno, Galleria Il Salice; Roma, Galleria Arte e Pensieri - with Achille Perilli



San Gemini (TR), Studio Watts

Roma, Galleria Arte e Pensieri

Prato, Galleria Ulivi



Roma, Galleria Arte e Pensieri - with Achille Pace

Roma, Galleria Il Bulino

Roma, Galleria d’Arte Marchetti




Milano, Studio Gariboldi; Milano, Galleria Spaziotemporaneo

Roma, Galleria d’Arte Marchetti



Roma, Galleria d’Arte Marchetti



Roma, Galleria Edieuropa



Roma, Galleria-Stamperia d’Arte Il Bulino

Paris, Galerie Stadler

Paris, Studio Simonis



Trento, Galleria L’Isola



San Gemini (TR), Studio Watts

München, Galerie Roubaud



Roma, Galleria L’Isola



München, Istituto Italiano di Cultura



München, Galerie Roubaud



München Galerie Roubaud

Porto Santo Stefano (GR), Galleria I Rioni

Terni, Galleria Forzani

Paris, Galerie 16



Roma, Galleria Giulia



Biella, Palazzo Ferrero



Ferrara, Palazzo dei Diamanti - Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna



Roma, Galleria Il Luogo



Bolzano, Galleria Spatia



Roma, Galleria Grafica dei Greci



Roma, Galleria Rondanini

Roma, Galleria Parametro



Trento, Galleria Argentario

Roma, Galleria Parametro



Finale Ligure (SV), Studio Rotelli



Roma, Galleria Qui Arte Contemporanea

Bolzano, Galleria Il Sole

Omegna (VB), Galleria Spriano

Milano, Galleria del Naviglio

Reggio Calabria, Galleria La Nucara

Roma, Centro d’Arte Settimiano



Wien, Italienischen Kulturinstitut



Roma, Galleria della Trinità

Paris, Galerie Jean Chauvelin



Milano, Centro Rizzoli

Milano, Galleria Cortina

Roma, Galleria della Trinità

Rapallo (GE), Galleria Polymnia



Roma, Grafica Romero

Milano, Centro Rizzoli

Paris, Galerie Stadler



Firenze, Galleria Flori



Paris, Galerie Stadler



Venezia, XXXIII Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte. La Biennale di Venezia



Firenze, Galleria Michaud

Roma, Galleria Pogliani



Paris, Galerie Stadler

Düsseldorf, Galerie Schmela



Lausanne, Galerie L’Entracte



Milano, Galleria del Naviglio

Roma, Galleria Selecta



Neunkirchen-Daar, Galerie Ursula Rietschel

Paris, Galerie Lucien Durand



Paris, Galerie Lucien Durand

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