Giulia Napoleone, born in Pescara, Italy, in 1936, is renowned for her abstract works on paper with various interventions using ink, watercolor, or pencil that result in unique interior landscapes, which she refers to as "landscapes of dots." Describing her artistic journey as a continuous path without specific destinations or points of arrival, Napoleone's work embodies a sense of exploration and fluidity.
Throughout her career, Napoleone has focused on cultivating an elevated aesthetic experience through a meticulous and restrained approach. She began by exploring monochrome compositions during the 1950s and 1960s, followed by the use of color, particularly the versatile hues of blue, which became prominent in her pieces during the mid-1970s.
Napoleone's artistic journey started in Rome, where she relocated in 1957 to study at the Accademia di Belle Arti. During her time there, she formed significant relationships with esteemed artists and writers such as Giorgio Morandi, Marino Mazzacurati, Carlo Levi, and Alberto Moravia. Of these connections, Morandi, in particular, advised her to focus on creating works on paper. Remaining loyal to this medium, she dedicated herself to perfecting it over the course of half a century, developing a signature style that is entirely her own. Much like Agnes Martin, Napoleone distanced herself from the gestural vocabulary of Abstract Expressionism and the systematic repetitions of Minimalism. Her intimate and subtly nuanced works on paper invite close examination, revealing their captivating perceptual effects.
Napoleone’s work has been exhibited in prominent galleries and institutions including Galleria Numero, Florence, in 1963; Galleria dell’Obelisco, Rome, in 1973; The Quadriennale Nazionale d’Arte, Rome, in 1986 and 1999; Musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville, Le Locle, Switzerland, in 1990; Palazzo Martinengo, Brescia, in 1995; Museo di Villa dei Cedri, Bellinzona, Switzerland, 2001; Gabinetto disegni e stampe degli Uffizi, Florence, 2011. In 2018, Napoleone had a major retrospective at the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna, Rome.