Pietro Ghizzardi was born in Viadana (Mantua) in 1906 into a poor family of farmers. As day labourers, his parents are constantly on the move, and his childhood is one of deprivation. He is also a sickly child and, as a result, his schooling was patchy.
The Ghizzardi family only put down roots in 1931, when they settle in Boretto (Reggio Emilia). The River Po burst its banks in a great flood twenty years later, marking a turning point in Pietro’s life: he decides to devote himself fully to art and to write the story of his life (“Mi richordo anchora”, with Cesare Zavattini notes, Einaudi, 1976 which wins the “Premio letterario di Viareggio”, 1977). He finds in panting the way to enjoy life and to reveal his unconscious attraction for the female universe. Ghizzardi paints on used cardboards, in both sides, using unconventional materials, coal, triturate bricks, earths, ochre, berries and herbs. Pietro paints portraits of his family, saints, wild animals, and above all women, some inspired by movie stars. He dies in 1986.
2021 – “Pietro Ghizzardi. The sea and a beautiful woman to kiss”, curated by Davide Macchiarini, Maroncelli 12, Milan
2021 – PHOTO| BRUT: Collection Bruno Decharme & Compagnie”, American Folk Art Museum, New York
2015 – “Furtiva e selvatica come una cerva”, Maroncelli 12, Milan
2015 – Outsider Art Fair Paris
2014 – “Women”, Mai Museum, Sospiro (Cremona)
2012 – “Banditi dell’arte”, Halle Saint Pierre, Paris
2007 – “Beautés insensées. Figures, histoires et maitres de l’art irrégulier”, curated by Bianca Tosatti, Monaco
2006 – “Oltre la Ragione. Le figure, i maestri, le storie dell’arte irregolare”, curated by Bianca Tosatti, Bergamo
Collection abcd – Centre Pompidou, Paris
Treger/Saint Silvestre Collection, São da Madeira
Casa dell’Art Brut, Mairano di Casteggio (Pavia)