Milvia Maglione

1934Bari, Italy | 2010Paris, France
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Milvia Maglione — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

© Photo: Marion Kalter

French painter, graphic designer and decorator.

Born in Italy, Milvia Maglione di Melasso connected the exploration of dreams and the subconscious so loved by the Surrealists with the elevation of the banal and the everyday instituted by Pop Art. She studied printmaking and photography in Italy, Switzerland and France, where she gained recognition in the late 1960s at the Salon de la jeune peinture (1966) and at the 5th Bienniale de Paris (1967). After organising an exhibition on the Mona Lisa as a homage to Marcel Duchamp, she participated in the Atelier A, coordinated by art critic Pierre Restany in the early 1970s. From her experimentations was born a neon lamp in the shape of a cloud, a recurring motif in her visual repertoire, both lunar and diurnal, metaphorical and fabulous. Within her body of work in various mediums (textiles, visual arts, publications), M. Maglione used brushes and stencils as well as chisels and needles to create landscapes that resemble theatre sets and children’s tales inhabited by figures and objects freed from gravity, similar to toys as seen in Self-Portrait (oil painting 1976), and linked to the female universe.

Her sculpture-objects sewn on both canvases and sheets become fetishes of an almost archaeological or ethnographic census of long-denigrated female culture as well as of childhood, transforming everyday life into a poetic universe of games and dreams. The artist invites the spectator into her cabinet of curiosities, to a make believe dinner party, as in Le Thé d’Alice (1972) that evokes both the Lewis Carroll novel and Meret Oppenheim’s subversive work Le Déjeuner en fourrure (1936). Inspired by banners created by women for the Feast of the Virgin in the Italian region of Apulia, where she was from was from, M. Maglione’s Dédicacé à L. (1973) is a hymn to women, to whom her engagement was confirmed throughout her career. She participated in the exhibition Combative Acts, Profiles and Voices, organised in 1976 at A.I.R. Gallery in New York, and Feminie in 1977 before inaugurating the Gallery des Femmes in Paris in 1982. In parallel to her artistic practice, she taught at the Université Paris 8 for ten years and created posters for the Italian feminist publishing house Tartaruga, as well as book covers for the publishing house Éditions des femmes-Antoinette Fouque.

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Sonia Recasens

Translated from French by Katia Porro.

From the Dictionnaire universel des créatrices
© 2013 Des femmes – Antoinette Fouque
© Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions
Milvia Maglione — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Milvia Maglione, L’été, 1968, Centre national des arts plastiques, © Photo: Yves Chenot, © ADAGP, Paris

Milvia Maglione — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Milvia Maglione, La mer au fond des bois, date unknown, Centre national des arts plastiques, © ADAGP, Paris

Milvia Maglione — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Milvia Maglione, Beaucoup d’heures de travail, 1975, Centre national des arts plastiques, © ADAGP, Paris

Milvia Maglione — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Milvia Maglione, Objet décoratif Cœur-nuage, 1981, Centre national des arts plastiques, © Photo: Béatrice Hatala/Les Arts Décoratifs, © ADAGP, Paris

Milvia Maglione — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Milvia Maglione, Collier Nuages et poissons, 1978, Centre national des arts plastiques, © Photo: Jean Tholance/les Arts Décoratifs, © ADAGP, Paris

Milvia Maglione — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Milvia Maglione, Objet marin, 1971, Centre national des arts plastiques, © ADAGP, Paris

Milvia Maglione — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Milvia Maglione, Pendentif, 1969, Centre national des arts plastiques, © ADAGP, Paris

Milvia Maglione — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Milvia Maglione, Sans titre, date unknown, Centre national des arts plastiques, © ADAGP, Paris

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