Turi Simeti, born in Alcamo, Italy, in 1929, moved 1958 to Rome where he made his first foray into the art world. His initial artworks date from that period and are influenced by Alberte Burri - whose studio he attended with great interest -and his way of dealing with raw materials. In those years, he spent long periods in London, Paris and Basel, getting in contact with the contemporary artistic avant-garde and moving alongside the widespread trend of zeroing both tradition and the traditional rules of artistic expression.
His expository activity began in 1963 when he took part in exhibitions such as the IV Figurative
Art Review in Rome and Latium, at Palazzo delle Esposizioni, in Rome or Visual Art, at Palazzo
Strozzi in Florence. He then participated in various shows dedicated to the New Tendencies in
Zagreb, in 1965, as well as in Milan at Cenobio Gallery and in Reggio Emilia. In 1967 he also
traveled abroad to participate in various important international reviews dedicated to this type of artistic research such as Programmierte Kunst - Aktuell 65 und Weiss auf Weiss in Bern in 1965 and 1966. Another crucial group experience was his participation in the exhibition Zero Avantgarde, held in 1965 at Lucio Fontana Studio in Milan, which then moved to II Punto Gallery in Turin and II Cavallino Gallery in Venice . In 2013, after about fifty years, this same exhibition was celebrated once again at Christian Stein Gallery in Milan, with a project directed by Nanda Vigo who organized a group show that included the artists of the historical exhibition.
Turi Simeti's first solo exhibition took place in Germany in 1965 at Galerie Wulfengasse in Klagenfurt, followed, one year later, by another solo show at the Galleria Vismara in Milan.
After moving from Rome to Milan, he was invited by the Fairleigh Dickinon University as Artist in
Residence between 1966 and 1969. He then spent long periods in New York where he set up a studio of his own and produced several works responding to his newly defined poetic. The subsequent exhibitions confirmed his distinctive role in the international contemporary art scene; these were held at various ltalian galleries (II Chiodo Gallery in Palermo, Giraldi Gallery in Livorno and Stefanoni Gallery in Lecco), as weil as foreign ones, especially in Germany and Switzerland.
With a gesture of radical defiance towards the contemporary artistic language, 1971 Simeti held a performance at Galleria La Bertesca in Genoa with the Destruction of a glider. The remains were collected in a series of signed and numbered blue bins, recently displayed, for the first time since then, by Almine Rech in Turi Simeti's personal exhibition, in Brussels in 2015.
This breaking point did not imply a denial of the artist's work on surface, which continued to follow the same poltern. Rather, in the subsequent works the sense of rarefaction of the prominent shapes are enhanced on the canvas, so that despite them being reduced they appear more powerfully. This stands out clearly in his solo shows of the early 70s held in various European cities such as Basel, Bergamo, Verona, Düsseldorf, Oldenburg, Koblenz, Cologne and Munich, and in some group exhibitions such as Estensione, at Casa del Mantegna in Mantua. In 1980 the Pinacoteca Comunale in Macerata hosted a solo show.
In the 80s, Simeti began to work in a new studio in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. During these years his work was subject to a further formal metamorphosis, moving towards a research planned and organized in spatial-temporal sequences, with extended duration. This translated into a shift from single works to diptychs and polyptychs characterized by a prominent element often off-centered.
After some installations in Sicily (in Gibelline in 1980; in Bagheria at Galleria Pagano and in Palermo at Opera Universitaria in 1981) and in Milan, where he held a personal show at Studio Grossetti in 1982, he spent most of the 80s exposing abroad.
After nearly a decade of intense activity abroad, Simeti's work was again featured at a solo show
at Vismara Gallery in Milan, in 1989, and in a few group shows focusing on the artists who played an active role in the Zero art movement such as Extroverted canvases in the M ilanese area from 1958 to Nowadays at Arte Struktura in 1989 and '58 - '80 Bonalumi - Castellani - Simeti/ Three Pathways, at the Millenium Gallery in Milan. The 90s saw consistent expository movements between Sicily and international 'markets': in 1991 he showed a wide selection of works at Museo Civico in Gibellina and in the following years, after the solo shows of recent works in Rio de Janeiro, Biberach, Kaiserslautern, Milan, Bolzano and Trapani, other retrospective exhibitions were held in 1996 at Kunstverein in Ludwigsburg and in Erice. In 1998 he held a personal exhibition at Galerie Kain in Basel, followed by other shows in Biberach, Ladenburg and Mannheim the following year and by his participation in the documentary show Art in ltoly during the Seventies at La Salerniana Gallery in Erice.
Harry Zellweger Art Study in Basel and Uwe Sacksofsky Gallery in Heidelberg organized two important solo shows, both in 2000; others were held at Civica Gallerie d'Arte Moderna in Gallarate in 2001 and at Fondazione Mudima in Milan, Maier Gallery in Kitzbühel and Galerie Wack in Kaiserslautern in 2002. The exhibition at Gallerie Pino Casagrande in Rome, presented by Bruno Cora in 2009, was particularly relevant as weil as the great anthological show held in 2010 in his hometown, Alcamo. In the same year another important solo show took place at the famous Salvatore + Caroline Ala Gallery in Milan.
In 2012 his work was presented to the British public in a significant show at the Mayor Gallery in
London, and in 2013 Dep Art Gallery in Milan organized an important show with a selection of main works from the 60s. In the post years, he held various exhibitions amongst which Tornabuoni Art in Paris, Almine Rech Gallery in Brussels, the Dep Art Gallery in Milan and the Galerie Volker Diehl in Berlin. All these shows confirm the growing attention towards Turi Simeti as a major Italian figure associated with the ZERO movement, whose works are featured in a number of important private and public art collections and institutions.t, whose works are featured in a number of important private and public art collections and institutions.