Born in Turin, Italy in 1929, Riccardo Licata lived with his family for a short period to Paris; they then moved to Rome where he remained until 1945. Since 1946 he has lived between Venice and Paris.
After his studies at an arts high school and at the Venice Academy of Fine Arts, he received a scholarship in 1957 from the French government to experiment with color engraving and new techniques.
The same year he became Gino Severini’s assistant at the École d’Art Italienne in Paris, beginning an impressive career as a teacher.
Painter, engraver, mosaicist, sculptor and set designer, he first began to exhibit in 1949 with the group of young abstract painters in Venice. In 1951 he had his first one-man show in Venice; since 1952 he has participated in the biennials of Venice, Sao Paolo in Brazil, Tokyo, Paris, Ljubljana, Alexandria in Egypt, as well as in the Rome Quadrennial and the Milano Triennial.
He has had one-man shows in important cities both in Italy and around the world.
Of particular importance are his large 1990 traveling show in Spain curated by Enzo di Martino and his retrospective exhibition at Venice’s Ca’ Pesaro Museum of Modern Art.
His works are found in museums of modern art in Chicago, Milan, Florence, Mulhouse, New York, Paris, Warsaw, Stockholm, Vienna and, of course, Venice.
His work has been profoundly influenced by regularly attending musical events like those at Teatro la Fenice or the Venice Biennial’s Festival Of Contemporary Music.
In fact, his unmistakable pictorial-graphic writing that began to take shape in the 1950s was inspired by music.
Starting with the materials he uses, the artist always demonstrates the same rigor and expressive purity, and through his complex and original “writing” – a truly personal yet at the same time universal language – he has looked for a new means to depict reality.