Born in Siracuse in 1929 from Sicilian parents. In 1934 the family moved to Leghorn where Marchegiani lived during his childhood and youth. He started painting as a self-taught artist. Following a familiar tradition, after attending the classical section of the secondary cycle, he enrolled at the Law School of the Pisa University. The acquaintance and friendship with Gianni Bertini suggested him to leave the province and start an artistic adventure in Paris, Milan, Rome, Bologna. For the last years he has been residing at Pianoro Vecchio, a residential hill zone on the Via Toscana, leading to the Futa Pass, and spending summers in his studio at Misano Adriatico and on the island of Ischia.
In 1957, 1958 and 1959 he was invited to participate in the Modigliani Prize contest. In 1958 he had his first solo show at the Galleria Giraldi in Leghorn. In 1959 his exhibits were shown at the 8th Quadriennial Art Show of Rome. He was part of the “Group 70″, beginning a strong friendship with Giuseppe Chiari. The attention paid to Leonardo, Giacomo Balla, Marcel Duchamp and Lucio Fontana as well as to the connections between science and image represent the base of his future work that, during the Sixties, between Milan and Rome. In 1968 he was invited to the 6th Biennial Art Show of the Repubblica di San Marino on the theme “New materials new techniques”, where he was awarded the gold medal of the A.I.C.A. (Associazione Internazionale Critici d’Arte chaired by Giulio Carlo Argan). In 1968 at the Venice Biennial Art Show he exhibited his reconstruction of “Feu d’artifice”, Futurist flowers and other works left unfinished by Giacomo Balla with the writing: “Reconstruct them with the materials of your time”. He was appointed director of the Academy of fine Arts of Urbino from 1983 to 1988.
He started associating with mathematicians and scientists, drawing new stimuli to go in depth with his work and stating that Art is an exact science which had the chance not to be one: see the show “Le Mosche” (Flies) of 1969 (with Giorgio Celli and Bruno D’Amore), revisited thirty years later in 1999 at the Musée Reattu in Arles for the exhibition “Dards D’Art Mouches”; see also “Cultura è energia” 1971 (with Pierre Restany and Giorgio Cortenova).
The series of “Rubbers”, bound to die in time (made between 1971 and 1973), exhibited also at the Venice Biennial Art Show of 1972 with the reconstruction in small scale of the tower of San Marco, precedes the period when he devoted his work to the “Grammature di colore” (Colour Gram-weights) and his research on supports (plaster, slate, leather, parchment).
The “Grammature di colore”, an abstract geometric synthesis of Italian fresco painting, remain a constant reference of search that he considers obligatory for his making to make think.
In Paris at the FIAC of 1985 to 1986 he was charged to realize permanent installations in Paris at the Ile Saint Louis, the Castle of Blois on the Loire and subsequently in New York and San Francisco.
In 1986, Giorgio Celli invited him to the “Biology Section” at the Venice Biennial Art Show.
In 1997, he participated in the show “Dadaismo Dadaismi – da Duchamp a Warhol – 300 capolavori” at Palazzo Forti in Verona, with his work “Deus ex machina, 1965″ on an invitation by the curator Giorgio Cortenova.
In 1998, the Leghorn Municipality, at the Museo Fattori, dedicated him an anthology show with his most significant works, with the publication of a catalogue entitled “Fare per far pensare” (making to make think), which has been up to now for a long time a logo of his work.
In 2001, the Museo Teatrale alla Scala in Milan invited him to show his reconstruction of “Feu d’artifice” by Giacomo Balla.
His works were shown at the Ministry of foreign affairs inside the “Collezione di artisti del XX Secolo alla Farnesina”, curated by Maurizio Calvesi, in 2007-08. In 2004, at the Mole Vanvitelliana in Ancona he participated in the show “Riflessi nell’arte” and the XXIth Premio Sulmona, on an invitation by Giorgio di Genova, and won the First Prize.
In March 2007, an anthology show took place at the Pinacoteca of Marsala inside the seat of the Ente Mostra Nazionale di Pittura Contemporanea, with a presentation by Sergio Troisi and the publication of the volume “Linee di produzione 1957-2007″ edited by Carola Pandolfo Marchegiani, published by Carte Segrete, Rome.
2010 – Today
From July September 2010 an anthology show took place at the Torre di Guevara on the island of Ischia, with the presentation of a catalogue by Massimo Bignardi, published by Le Rive di Cartaromana.
In January 2012 and in 2013, the Galleria Allegra Ravizza Art Project in Milan organized a show of historical works.The curator was Marco Meneguzzo who in a TV interview stated: “Marchegiani is the homemade future”.
At the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea of Rome, in March 2012, with his work “Helios” of 1966, he took part in the show “Arte Programmata e cinetica anni ‘60 e ’70”, curated by Giovanni Granzotto and Mariastella Margozzi.
In 2013 began the show “Transcultura” at the Galleria Comunale of Arezzo, curated by Fabio Migliorati, and at the same time at the Fabbriche Chiaramontane in Agrigento the show “Homemade Future”, curated by Marco Meneguzzo, with a catalogue published by Silvana Editoriale. In April of the same year, at the Galleria Valmore in Vicenza, “La linea analitica dell’arte”. During the same month of April, with the Donation Spagna Bellora, one of his works, “Grammatura di colore”- plaster support of 1977, entered the Museo del Novecento in Milan, as is documented by a catalogue by Silvana Editoriale.
In 2014, “La grande Scacchiera – partita a scacchi con Duchamp” (The Great Chessboard – a game of chess with Duchamp) of 1976 (cm 1500×300) was permanently installed at the BAG - Bocconi Art Gallery of the Bocconi University in Milan. In the same year he took part in the show “L’Orlando Furioso – L’Arte contemporanea legge l’Ariosto”, curated by Sandro Parmiggiani with a catalogue published by Silvana Editoriale.
In January 2015, at Legnago, the gallery Ferrarin Arte organized a show entitled “Moderna Magna Grecia”, curated by Giorgio Bonomi and Francesco Tedeschi. In Milan, at the Primo Marella Gallery, the show “Pittura Analitica Ieri e Oggi” Part I (1970-1980) in June-September / Part II (2000-2015) in September-October, curated by Alberto Fiz, with a catalogue published by Silvana Editoriale.
In Lugano, the Primae Noctis Art Gallery organized the show “Pittura analitica Ieri e Oggi” for the first time in Switzerland, November 2015-January 2016, curated by Alberto Fiz, with a catalogue published by Silvana Editoriale.
At the art fair ArteFiera 2016 of Bologna, Primo Marella Gallery of Milano presented the solo show entitled “Elio Marchegiani - Fare per far pensare”.
From the end of the last century up to now, Marchegiani’s activity is turned towards tridimensional and environmental works, and on the basis of his motto “Making to make think” his attention is devoted to the outside world, in the constant conviction that an artist ought also to narrate this
His works are present in numerous private collections in Italy and abroad.
Public collections: Pinacoteca Civica, Alessandria/ Pinacoteca Comunale, Ancona/ Municipal Museum “Bait Shalomon Asch”, Bat Yam (Israel) / Museum, Bagheria/ Benaki Museum, Athens (Greece) /MAMbo, Bologna/ Museion, Bolzano / Kunstmuseum Bonn, Bonn (Germany)/ Pinacoteca Comunale, Capo d’Orlando/ Galleria Comunale d’Arte Contemporanea, Castel San Pietro Terme/ Museo MAGA, Gallarate/ Museo Civico e Scuola Elementare, Gibellina/ Neue Galerie am Landesmuseum Joanneum, Graz (Austria)/ ZKM Zentrum Kunst und Medientechnologie, JKarlsruhe (Germany)/ Museo d’arte moderna CAMeC, La Spezia / Museo Civico G.Fattori, Leghorn/ Pinacoteca Comunale, Macerata/ Pinacoteca Comunale, Marsala / Gaallerie d’Italia Collezione Banca Intesa, Milan/ BAG Bocconi Art Gallery, Milan/ Museo Nazionale del Novecento, Milan/ Museo d’Arte Contemporanea del ‘900, Mosummano Terme/ CSAC Galleria nazionale, Parma/ MoRe Museum, Parma / Piazza Salvo D’Acquisto, Pianoro/ Magi ‘900, Museo d’Arte delle Generazioni Italiane del ‘900, Pieve di Cento/ Museo del Parco, Centro internazionale di scultura all’aperto, Portofino/ Italian Embassy, Repubblica di San Marino/ GNAM Galleria nazionale d’arte moderna e contemporanea, Rome/ Unità Collezione Farnesina, Ministero degli affari Esteri, Rome/ Raccolta grafica della Scuola di Specializzazione in Storia dell’Arte, Siena/ Galleria del Premio, Sulmona/ Kunstmuseum Stuttgart (Germany)/ Galleria civica d’arte moderna e contemporanea, Turin/ Fuji International Art Gallery, Tokyo/ MART Museo d’arte moderna e contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto/ Collezioni Museali Scaligere, Verona and Fondazione VAF