Poster of The Male, The Female, The Sacred Omar Galliani in Dialogue with the Drawing Tradition

For the first time since its foundation, the futuristic CAFA Art Museum in Beijing, designed by Arata Isozaki, is the venue for a solo exhibition by a contemporary Italian artist. The Male, The Female, The Sacred: Omar Galliani in Dialogue with the Drawing Tradition represents artist Omar Galliani‘s entire oeuvre. He has made a significant contribution to the elevation of drawing to an independent genre, stressing its regenerating value within the realm of international contemporary art.

This Beijing show is curated by Manuela Lietti with the support of K35 Art Gallery (Moscow), Reda Biella (Italy), CromaKinema (Italy), Soave Arte Moderna & Contemporanea Alessandria (Italy), Mazzotta Art Selection Milano (Italy), Indigo Art, and Nadia Stefanel. The pieces on view outline the artist’s entire career, from the 1970s to the present day, showcasing the iconic pieces that have contributed to Galliani’s success. The exhibition includes works that are being shown in Beijing for the first time, even though Galliani has exhibited in China several times. The monumental aura of Great Italian Drawing, the sacred atmosphere of Svelare Sandro, the expressiveness of Teeth, and the anatomical perfection of Breath co-exist with the poetic tones of Notturno and the unlimited imagination of Omar, Roma, Amor. This last, most recent piece is presented with a set of preparatory drawings on antique paper. Here, drawing is both signifier and signified, the core of Galliani’s work. This work uses an approach that stresses the liaison with tradition and guarantees the vitality of a genre often regarded as old fashioned and the creativity of an artist who is always evolving, thanks to his link with this tradition. One of the key features of this show is the selection of antique drawings on paper dating back to the 1500s, which help the viewer make iconographic and iconological links to the artist’s entire body of work and the Italian drawing tradition.

Omar Galliani, "Omar Roma Amor", 2012; pencil, colored pencil, wood panel, 300x400 cm

Omar Galliani, “Omar Roma Amor”, 2012;
pencil, colored pencil, wood panel, 300×400 cm

Omar Galliani, "Respiro", 2008; pencil, tempera, wood panel 400x400 cm

Omar Galliani, “Respiro”, 2008; pencil, tempera, wood panel 400×400 cm

Omar Galliani was born in 1954 in Montecchio Emilia, Italy, where he currently lives and works. Galliani studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna and now teaches painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Carrara. Since the 1980s, Galliani has been involved in major contemporary art events worldwide, including the Venice Biennale, the São Paulo Biennial, The Twelfth Biennale de Paris, the First Beijing Biennial, and the First Prague Biennial. His works have been exhibited in the most prominent international contemporary art venues in Tokyo, London, Rome, Frankfurt, Budapest, Berlin, Milan, and Prague. In the 1990s, Galliani showed his works in the United States at the Scottsdale Center for the Arts in Arizona, the Marian Locks Gallery in Philadelphia, the Arnold Herstand Gallery in New York, and the prestigious New York University. In South America, the artist has shown at the Guadalajara Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Mexico and the Caracas University and Caracas Museum of Fine Art in Venezuela. In recent years, Galliani has exhibited at Museo Poldi Pezzoli in Milan, the Diocesan Museum in Padua, the Seoul Museum of Art in Seoul, and Museo Bilotti in Rome. His works have been collected by major global institutions including the Nuremberg Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon, the Bologna Gallery of Modern Art, the Italian Embassies and Consulates in New York, Rabat, Moscow, London, Paris and Belgrade, the Uffizi Gallery, the Vatican Museums, and the Miami Art Museum. In 2011, Omar Galliani held major solo shows at the National Museum of Modern Art in Cairo, the Italian Cultural Institute in Beijing, the Diocesan Museum in Padua, the National Gallery in Prague, and the Seoul Museum of Art in Seoul. In addition to these events, Omar Galliani participated in a project associated with the Venice Biennale. In autumn 2011, he held a significant solo show at the Museo Poldi Pezzoli in Milan. In October 2011, Galliani exhibited his works in London as part of the contemporary art collection of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He also presented The Russian Soul at the National Museum of Russian Art in Moscow. In November 2011, Maga Museo di Gallarate (Italy) held a retrospective for Omar Galliani, curated by Flavio Caroli. In 2013, the artist will participate in the events associated with the Fifty-Fifth Venice Biennale. His show Notturno at the Centro Cultural Palacio de la Moneda in Santiago, Chile will soon travel to the Modern Art Museum in Lima, Peru.

About the exhibition

Curator: Manuela Lietti

Academic Advisor: Wang Huangsheng

Venue: Room 3A, CAFA Art Museum, Beijing

Address: No. 8 Huajiadi South Street, Chaoyang District, Beijing, China (100102)

Telephone: 86-10-64771575 Fax: 86-10-64771699

Website: Email:

Exhibition Dates: September 14 – October 7, 2012

Opening Reception: September 14, 2012, 16:00

Support: K35 Art Gallery (Russia), Reda (Italy), Soave Arte Moderna & Contemporanea (Italy), Mazzotta Art Selection (Italy)

Project Manager: Nadia Stefanel

Photography: Luca Trascinelli, Massimiliano Galliani, CromaKinema

Courtesy of the artist and Manuela Lietti, for more information please visit

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