Julio Villani left Brazil a long time ago, always in search of images, forms, ideas that would bring him food for his curiosity. She left Marília, in the interior of São Paulo, to England, where she studied at Watford School of Art; and settled in Paris, where he attended the École Nationale des Beaux-Arts, and stayed there since the 1980s.
It is as if he had built a vessel of himself and in it was putting brushes, lines, words, algorithms, indigenous geometry, indignations and loves. He is a prospector and, with his luggage, is always crossing borders. That gives samba.
Thus, he has painted and embroidered linens, worked and reworked ancient iconographic images bringing up traces of artistic movements, from modernism to avant-garde. Villani had the opportunity to follow closely one of the richest moments in the history of art of the 20th century, both European and Brazilian avant-garde.
His sculptures, playful and irreverent, bring traces of the readymade, but also of the concrete poets, of the works of Harold and Augusto de Campos, who built them laying words thin a nonlinear way, in order to find a shape in the support of the page. In this case, Villani builds them in a collage that uses the material of his mining: a triangular kettle that inspires the body of a bird and whose body he completes with the lightness of wire; a snake mounted from a tape measure; a turtle created from a steel shovel; a pot, a portrait. Everything is experimental and the result is an original and poetic work.
Producing for exhibitions from the 1980s until today, Villani went through MAC-USP, MAM-SP, Oscar Niemeyer Museum of Curitiba, Museo del Barrio de New York, Habitat Center of New Delhi, Maison de l’Amérique Latine in Paris; and made several individuals in institutions such as Sesc-SP and in the galleries that represent him, Galerie 1900-2000 and Galerie RX, both from Paris, and the Brazilian galleries Estação and Raquel Arnaud. Villani never stopped working.
Currently, he launches his new website, Julio Villani, D’ICI, DE LÀ (julio-villani.com), and sets up his next exhibition at the GALLERY RX & Slag Galleries, Paris, with a new branch in Chelsea, New York, where he presents, from December 9 to January 22, 2022, the show Julio Villani, Conflicting Perspectives. There are about 20 works, where the line and color are permanently in tension. “If only one were to be missing, he says, the whole building could collapse,” says the text of the catalogue. “There is a conflict between escape lines and perspectives that I think is symptomatic of what I am – are we all? – living today”, confesses the artist, thus revealing the choice of the title of the exhibition.