Mario Surbone was born in Treville Monferrato on 8 September 1932. His artistic training was completed
first at the Turin Art School and then at the Albertina Academy where he was a pupil of Felice Casorati.
He made his debut in 1958 at the "National Youth Art Exhibition" in Rome and, between the late 1950s and
early 1960s, spent a long and fruitful study stay in Paris. His first solo exhibition was staged in 1962
at the Il Canale gallery in Venice. His research, which began in the climate of French informal painting,
in those years tended towards an increasingly rarefied and abstract definition of the image until it geometrized
the figure, human or object, with a strong reduction in outline. Since 1968, after having experimented with the
use of different materials, he has been exploring the expressive possibilities of monochrome, cardboard or metal
surfaces, "engraved" and modulated following rigorously geometric compositional structures. The "Incisi" cycle ended,
starting from 1978 he proceeded to pictorial interventions on shaped supports, upsetting the ordinary logic of space
and emphasizing the sensitive effect of color and its trace on the surface not confined within the usual limits of
the painting. The new works are born from a renewed relationship with nature (which still continues) investigated,
both from a formal and a symbolic and significant point of view, through a deconstructive and reconstructive analysis
of the figural image.
The criticism has always been very attentive to the work of Mario Surbone.
The artist has been involved in numerous and important group exhibitions in Italy and abroad and texts,
articles and reviews by authoritative critics and art historians have accompanied his career from the beginning,
capturing and promptly communicating the fundamental denotative elements of his works and his poetics.
The monograph by Francesco De Bartolomeis, Mario Surbone (art edition Fratelli Pozzo, Turin), dated 1996,
critically outlines the artist's itinerary from his formative years to full maturity. In 2007, the Province
of Turin organized an important retrospective exhibition at the Sala Bolaffi in the capital, accompanied by
an exhaustive catalog also curated by Francesco De Bartolomeis.
In 2009 an exhibition held at the Galleria del Collegio Cairoli of the University of Pavia
(curated by Fabrizio Parachini) is dedicated, for the first time, to the period of realization
of the "Incisi" only: 1968-1978. The attention of the gallery owner Franco Soffiantino then focuses on this production,
who decides to promote two exhibitions in 2016, at the Bocconi University of Milan and at the Stelline Foundation also
in Milan, and the creation of the reasoned catalog of these works published in 2017. from Allemandi, Turin, edited by
Elena Pontiggia (Mario Surbone. Engraved 1968-1978).
Mario Surbone lives and works in Turin and Treville Monferrato (Alessandria)