Tancredi Italian, 1927-1964


Tancredi Parmeggiani, known simply as Tancredi, was an Italian painter and collage artist. Known for his lyrically abstract work, Tancredi was a part of Movimento spaziale (Spatial movement, 1947–60), initiated by Lucio Fontana in Milan.


Tancredi Parmeggiani (known as Tancredi) was born on September 25, 1927, in Feltre, Italy. He became a friend of Emilio Vedova while studying at the Accademia di belle arti, Venice, in 1946. The following year he visited Paris. From 1948 to 1949 he divided his time between Venice and Feltre. His first solo show took place at the Galleria Sandri, Venice, in 1949. Tancredi moved in 1950 to Rome, where he associated with the group Age d’Or (Golden age), which sponsored exhibitions and publications of the international avant-garde. He participated in an exhibition of abstract Italian art at the Galleria nazionale d’arte moderna, Rome, in 1951. That year the artist settled in Venice, where he met Peggy Guggenheim, who gave him studio space and exhibited his work in her palazzo in 1954. He was awarded the Grand Prize for painting at the Venice Biennale in 1952. This same year, Tancredi and others signed the manifesto of the Movimento spaziale (Spatial movement, 1947–60), initiated by Lucio Fontana in Milan and advocating a new “spatial” art appropriate to the postwar era.


Tancredi had solo exhibitions at the Galleria del Cavallino, Venice (1952, 1953, 1956, 1959), and at the Galleria del Naviglio, Milan (1953). He participated in Tendances actuelles (Contemporary trends, 1954) with Georges Mathieu, Jackson Pollock, Wols (Alfred Otto Wolfgang Schulze), and others at the Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland. His work was included in a 1955 group show at the Galerie Stadler, Paris, a city he visited that year. In 1958 further solo presentations of his work were exhibited at the Saidenberg Gallery, New York, and the Hanover Gallery, London, and he took part in the Pittsburgh International (now Carnegie International). In 1959 he settled in Milan, where he showed several times at the Galleria dell’Ariete. That same year Tancredi traveled again to Paris, and in 1960 he visited Norway. Also in 1960 the painter participated in Anti-Procès (Anti-process) at the Galleria del Canale, Venice; the gallery gave him solo shows that year and in 1962. He received the Marzotto Prize in Valdagno, Italy, in 1962 and exhibited at the Venice Biennale in 1964.


Tancredi committed suicide on September 27, 1964, in Rome.