Valerio Adamio is one of the major representatives of the narrative figuration that flourished in Paris after Gérald Gassiot-Talabot had in 1964 organised the exhibition in the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris that signalled the beginning of the movement. After his training in Milan (the Brera Academy) between 1951 and 1954, his work was in the first few years marked by Expressionism and Surrealism. But at the beginning of the 1960s he devised a unique kind of figuration, with which he represented Italy at the Venice Biennale in 1968; in 1970 he had an exhibition Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. His painting can be identified by its clear line drawing, the legibility of which, however, is often hindered by the dispersion of colour that creates sharp contrasts on the whole area of the painting. Close to the comic strip and models characteristic of Pop Art, without any subsequent corrections, Adami uses the aesthetic codes of the time so as to make the intellectual dimension of painting more accessible to wider circles. Valerio Adami long created in series, drawing his inspiration from iconography and newspaper photography. In the 1970s he presented a series of portraits of celebrities (Sigmund Freud, James Joyce, Walter Benjamin, Henri Matisse, Pierre Boulez and Isaac Babel) and a set of depictions of interiors into which he incorporated parts of genre scenes, which marked the beginning of his work devoted to memory as cognitive ability. His figures in segments contribute to the strange atmosphere in the pictures, close to dreams and unconscious constructions. Adami paints developing the pictorial space, which is a part of the analytical procedure based on memory, like the revelation of the labyrinth of the mental space. His architecture of planes and associations in space demands forwards and backwards movements, jumps and renewed recuperations from fragment to fragment.
La Fondation Maeght conserve des peintures, dessins et lithographies de l'artiste dans ses collections.