Antonia Di Giulio was born in Sabaudia, lives and works in Rome. It 'was a student of Paolo Cotani, in 1987 she graduated in Art History at the University "La
Sapienza" of Rome.
Her first works date back to the late 70's and found inspiration in the conceptual world and in the minimalism. The research on the white colour is a constant characteristic of the artworks of that period.
In the early 80s, remaining faithful to the painting as means of her artistic expression, she creates art works of a large-format, mostly white with hints of colour such as silvery, gray, and light blue.
In 1988 in New York where Ralph Gibson portrays in his work of "New York from the italian series" coming out published Darkroom photography, May 1990.
Pavia was one of the founders of the Club, a group of artists, writers and intellectuals such as William de Kooning, Barnett Newman, Robert Motherwell and Leo Castelli; architect of the conferences organized by the Club and by the IT IS magazine attended by Hannah Arendt, Joseph Campbell and John Cage.
Also in New York Ralph Gibson portrays her for his work of “New York from the italian series” which comes out published in Darkroom Photography, May 1990.
She meets Mario Schifano in 1990. From that moment on, a solid and profound friendship along with a vital artistic collaboration is established. Photography is the natural mean of this artistic exchange.
At this stage of her artistic expression, Ludovico Pratesiwrites, "the natural inclination for a rich and refined era in which triumphed the taste for excess and exuberance, Di Giulio has combined the photographic image of the" lady ", a photographic self-portrait in black and white realized by Mario Schifano where the artist appears in a provocative light-hearted attitude, accentuated by an eighteenth-century gown, which gives a twist to her theatrical "appear" in the presence of the viewer”.
Achille Bonito Oliva states: "Di Giulio is the Duchess of Valmont of the Italian painting, she interprets the painting as a genre that is worn, she uses and stages the word truth, veritas from Latin; to indicates not what is obvious but what is hidden: the painting thus becomes a passage from what is hidden to what is exhibited". In 2000, the exhibition bears the name of "Recent Works" at the Academy of Romania.
In 2002 in New York meets again Ralph Gibson who dedicated the second series of portraits.
Mario de Candia in the presentation of the exhibition "How to go through” Myself, Mario and Sabaudia", thus remember:" I am in the studio of Mario Schifano in a roman afternoon, listening to his plans and the stories of everyone along with the words and images of a crowd of televisions.
"Mario, you know, there's a friend of mine who has a costume workshop with beautiful costumes; imagine a eighteen century`s costume, wide skirts, laces, ships or garden on the head, how wonderful , can you imagine me walking dressed like that? "
"Why do not you go and get one? Come on, let`s take some pictures”.
In the same art exhibition, Maria Teresa Benedetti writes that "the series of photographs taken by Mario Schifano, in the wealth of disguises now playful, now allusive, now restless tells us about a game of complicity, a common will shared by the two artists to broaden their experience, looking for a meeting point between appearance and meaning.”
The artistic work evolves, and the search of Antonia Di Giulio is aimed at exploring a more interior world; surfaces become almost monochromes and silence seems to be the main element of her expressive language. "The Duchess of painting, disposed the frills and the baroque excess, she moves into arduous path of interiorization and silence. Disposed the colors of the works of the '90s, she delve herself into the absence of color, in the dryness of forms, in the deep silence that is disturbed only by the echo of thoughts ", thus, declares Elio Rumma.
This moment has been distinguished by a number of projects hosted by major cultural institutions: the show “Il colore del silenzio” at the Austrian Cultural Forum in 2007; the event entitled “24.26” in the exhibition space of the Italian foreign ministry club in 2009; the important project “Appunti di pittura”, hosted in October 2015 by the Museo Canonica in Rome.
In his presentation for the show, Antonello Tolve wrote, “The five large-scale works presented by Antonia Di Giulio deliberately disrupt the calm of their surroundings with the intention of forging an aesthetic collision – the reflection of which prompts the viewer to observe two models from different angles, portraying one half of art (the transitory, the fugitive, the contingent) of which the other half is the eternal and the immutable (Baudelaire)”.
The latest of Antonia Di Giulio’s projects was the “1988-2018 Antonia Di Giulio” show held in Venice in February 2019 together with photographer Ralph Gibson at the Venice International University (VIU) on the island of San Servolo.
Umberto Vattani , the university’s president, In his introduction to this body of work wrote that “this encounter between Di Giulio and this photographer of exceptional sensitivity was indeed important in view of the resulting rarefaction, of the relinquishing of any trace of colour and of every delicate nuance. That which in a photograph is a reality more real than life, in the pictorial language of Antonia Di Giulio becomes unadorned expression verging on the severe”.
New York Times art critic Phyllis Braff writes of Di Giulio that she “creates engaging dialogues in her combination of abstract painting with a photographic portrait of herself in black and white of the same size, chosen from a series of photographs taken in different decades by the renowned New York photographer Ralph Gibson. These new combinations sparkle with the visual energy of this merger. Antonia Di Giulio is directing her own portraits with the 1988 photographs by Gibson″.
To use a dance analogy, a suitable definition of these works could be a pas de deux in which two individual sensibilities come together for the duration of a song, touching, revealing themselves, moving together in the creation of a whole”, wrote Diego Mantoan of the Cà Foscari university show.
The exhibition’s curator, Achille Bonito Oliva, commented the relation between the paintings and the photographic portraits thus: “the work is permeated by a disorderly drive which disjoints the composition, propelling it towards an overthrow of the constituted order… This expression speaks of the impossibility of technical control or declares the possibility of a stunned control with a discipline that excludes all complacency. An animist significance is harboured in this dialogue between abstraction and figuration, a linearity which outlines subtle geometries: the geometry and the inwardness of nature, the dematerialised structure of the world.”
Roma 1991 – Studio Schifano