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Born in Rome and trained in traditional classical painting and drawing, Piero Dorazio (1927-2005) turned to architecture as a university student in 1945. In the late 1940s, Dorazio became active in a variety of artistic and literary circles, when he was exposed to a variety of artistic influences and intellectual waves, from the School of Paris, Constructivism, and Italian Futurism. Notably, Dorazio rediscovered the art of Giacomo Balla, who became a great influence. At the same time, Dorazio became actively involved in design, printing silkscreens, and furniture design. In 1950, a visit to Paris led to his collaboration with a number of fellow artists in organizing a notable avant-garde cooperative gallery, L’Age d'Or. During the late 1940s and early 1950s, while traveling throughout Europe and visiting New York, Dorazio was evolving his artistic approach that a decade later would establish his international renown with works primarily related to color field studies and lyrical abstraction.

In 1953, Dorazio traveled to the United States, where he taught a summer program at Harvard University. He presented his first solo exhibitions at the Wittenborn One-Wall Gallery and the Rose Fried Gallery in New York. After returning to Rome in 1954, Dorazio periodically visited Paris, London, and Berlin, where he became a friend of the dealer, Rudolf Springer. From 1960 to 1969, he taught at the Graduate School of Fine Arts at the University of Pennsylvania. After this period, Dorazio held many academic positions across the United States.

Dorazio exhibited at Modée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (1979), at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo (1979) and at the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea in Rome (1983). Dorazio participated in major international shows, such as the Venice Biennale, where he exhibited in 1960, 1966, and 1988. During the following years, he had private and public commissions such as the creation of mosaics in subway stations throughout Rome. The artist died in Todi, Italy in May 2005.

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