Paolo Boni Biography
Paolo Boni [Italian-French, b.1926] was born in Florence and studied art in his native city as well as in Venice and Rome where, from the late 1940s to the early 1950s, he exhibited his abstract works before settling in Paris in 1954. Beginning in 1957, he received international recognition for a unique process he invented for making bas relief engravings. He created the printing plate, or negative matrix, by arduously cutting and shaping different metals including coins, buckles, heel protectors, and other random found pieces of metal. He sawed, filed, and riveted together these pieces until he completed the desired harmonious composition — a mosaic of various pieces of metal. He then applied the inks one color at a time to their respective surfaces and separately printed each color, favoring blues, ochres, and reddish-browns. By using a heavy hand-made paper, the pieces of metal were allowed to leave indentations of various depths, giving the prints a three-dimensional complexity and animated surface. Because of these unique prints’ relationship to bas-relief sculpture, in 1970 the Italian art critic and publisher, Alfonso Ciranna, called them, “graphisculpture.” Boni produced his complex print editions in Paris with the master printer, Robert Dutrou, best known for his twenty-five year collaboration as Miro’s printer. Boni has enjoyed more than fifty solo exhibitions in Italy, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Sweden, Canada, and America. In 1966, he was honored in America by the Print Club of Cleveland — previously, the club had similarly commissioned an edition from Matisse. Boni’s prints may be found in the print collections of major museums worldwide. In America, these include the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery, the Library of Congress, Yale University, Princeton University, the Brooklyn Museum, the Baltimore Museum of Art, and many others. In France, these include the Musée Picasso, the Grand Palais, the Bibliothèque National, and the Musée d’Art Moderne.