Franco Cilia was born in Ragusa (Sicily).
In the 60s Cilia has explored the relationship of men and their ego, looking for what moves them behind the obvious. Subsequently, in the 70s, his interests focused on research into Goya’s black paintings and his relationship with the labyrinths of the psyche, exploring the possibilities of symbiosis between informal and figurative on a linguistic level. In the same years he developed his interest in sculpture, revealing the anthropomorphic mystery of the stones of the Hyblaean earth, as a deep and subterranean expression of the Sicilian soul.
The 80s were characterized by the cycle of “allusive transfiguration”, which became internationally known, from Madrid to Paris, from Lisbon to Copenhagen, from Istanbul to São Paulo to Mexico City, from Campinas to Brasilia, Cologne and Weimar. This body of work centred around his own death; ‘Cilia ist Tot’ (‘Cilia is Dead’).
Since 1992 his formal research has focused on the resolution of the figure in chromatic and dynamic elements, like the one of social becoming, the cosmic one and of the psychic one. Cilia is interpreting this by making the sky and its dynamisms of light the protagonists, until the fading of forms and the prevalence of pure colour comes to a “full immersion” in light. The contemporary use of different archives highlights a restlessness of research that prevents him from fixating on his paintings too much in repetitive modules. His practice is in strong and ideological contrast with art as decoration or pure experimentalism. Cilia understands art as an instrument of knowledge.
Besides painting, Franco Cilia has been creative in other fields, like writing and producing plays.
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