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Tino Stefanoni was born in Lecco in 1937, and attended the Beato Angelico High School for the Arts, as well as Milan’s Polytechnic University, where he studied architecture. He has been an active presence on the international art scene for more than thirty-five years.

While not belonging in any strict sense to the field of conceptual art, the work of Tino Stefanoni has always been rooted in similar areas of research.

Stefanoni has always turned his attention to the things and objects of everyday life, and he shows them to us as perfectly obvious no less than as thoroughly disarming. We might be perusing a visual primer that teaches the ABCs, or regarding the pages of an instruction booklet where images substitute for words. The world of things is highly different from the animal and vegetable worlds, since it holds the only tangible sign of the existence of the human being: it likewise forms the only space where it is possible to create an art and a beauty which are different from those of nature.

The thrust of Stefanoni’s research clearly has a great deal more to do with an interest in presenting things than with any desire to represent them; but at the very same time it bathes them in the light of a subtle irony, tinged with a certain magic. These qualities derive from an antiseptic operation that might be a lucid dream where mystery and elementarity are able to share each other’s space, relating on terms of a counterpoint which never denies the distance that by nature lies between them. Even in his current work where the canons of classical painting (strictly defined) are intentionally exasperated—for the purpose of a kind of didactic guide to the values of the practice of painting (light, shading, drawing, color)—we always return to the world of things. And even though this world of things is the locus of the work’s resolution, it also reveals a natural charge of something metaphysical.

"Enchanted Disenchantment," "Painting as Object," "Factualities," "Objective Irony," "Illusion Revealed," "Platonic Loves." These are a few of the more eloquent titles of the critical texts which have been written about his work.

The spurious enchantments of an apparently classical mode of painting can thus be said to conceal or disguise the lyrical and conceptual moment of Stefanoni’s work. And the work, finally, is so entirely and rigorously rational—marked even, skirting absurdity, by something on the order of a rational emotional life—as to make itself capable of underlining that a painting is an object for the mind, just as chairs, beds and tables are objects that meet the needs of the body.