Italian artist, Mimmo Paladino was born in Paduli, Benevento
in 1948. He studied at Liceo artistico di Benevento from 1964-68.
In 1977 Paladino was given his first one-man show. He traveled
to Brazil a number of times from 1982-1985. In 1985, Paladino
had a retrospective exhibition at the Lenbachhause, Munich.
He also installed a permanent installation in his hometown at
the Il Chiostro di San Domenico in Benvento. He continues to
work both in Benvento and Milan.
In 1984, amid the olive groves and tobacco fields of his native Paduli, Paladino built a sprawling house and painted it a pale yellow. With his wife, Imma and their daughter Ginestre, he divides his time between this house and an apartment in Milan. He claims his life is not physical, he does not play sports. Once he has finished a painting, it is over for him.
There are many dimensions to Paladino, whose passions include poetry and music. He favors contemporary composers and is a great admirer of Glenn Gould. He also had designed furniture, but his most widely recognized claim to design fame is his "Swatch" watch.
In 2001, the general catalogue of his graphic work was published (Opera Grafica 1974-2001), curated by Enzo di Martino, for Art of this Century, New York – Paris. The Centro d'Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci, Prato, granted him the most comprehensive retrospective exhibition ever organised by an Italian museum, curated by Bruno Corà (2002).
In 2003, together with Sandro Chia, Francesco Clemente, Enzo Cucchi, and Nicola de Maria, he put on "Transavanguardia 1979-1985" at the Castello di Rivoli Museo di Arte Contemporanea, curated by Ida Gianelli. He also put on personal exhibitions at the Reggia di Caserta, and in Galleria Scognamiglio in Naples and Galleria Valentina Bonomo, Rome (2004). He presented a travelling exhibition on Pinocchio at modern art museums across eight Japanese cities, in Venice's seventeenth-century Scola dei Battioro and then at the Museo Civico di Udine, the Museo di Palazzo Pio a Carpi and in Rotterdam (2004–2006).
In 2004, he created the doors for the Padre Pio church in San Giovanni Rotondo, designed by Renzo Piano. In 2005 he exhibited at the Museum der Moderne Rupertinum in Salzburg, and the Loggetta Lombardesca in Ravenna put on "Paladino in Scena", a major exhibition of his theatre work, curated by Claudio Spadoni. In June that year, he put on an exhibition of major sculptures at the Galleria Internazionale d'Arte Moderna Ca’ Pesaro in Venice, curated by Enzo di Martino, for the Biennale.
At the end of 2005, he put on a major exhibition dedicated to Cervantes’ Don Quixote, featuring paintings, sculptures, drawings and a film, at the Museo Capodimonte in Naples. As requested by Marco Müller, the film was presented at the 2006 Venice Film Festival, with great success. That year, he also created the doors for the San Giovanni Battista church in Lecce (designed by Franco Purini), concluded the intervention in piazza dei Conti Guidi, in Vinci, and exhibited at the Cardi and Christian Stein Gallery in Milan, and the Waddington Gallery in London.
In 2007, he produced two theatre set designs for OEdipus Rex and Cavalleria rusticana, for the Teatro Regio in Turin, and put on a personal exhibition at the Galleria Civica in Modena. In 2008 he presented a major installation at the Museo dell’Ara Pacis in Rome, set to music by Brian Eno. That year, the University of Lugano granted him a honoris causa degree in Architecture. In June 2008, "Porta di Lampedusa - Porta d'Europa", an important monument in memory of migrants deceased at sea, was inaugurated.
In 2009, a group of his sculptures was shown "en plein air" in Orta San Giulio, Lake of Orta, in a show curated by Flavio Arensi; among the various works it was a horse floating to the shore in front of Villa Bossi, the Town Hall. On 10 April the same year he installed a big blue horse over four metres high (13 feet) at the Amphitheatre of Vittoriale degli Italiani di Gardone Riviera (BS), house-museum of the novelist Gabriele D'Annunzio.
He is interested in the relationship between visual art and sound and has worked with the sound artist Brian Eno on the installation I Dormienti for the Roundhouse, London in 1999 and on a piece for the Ara Pacis Museum in Rome in 2008.
Paladino currently lives and works in Rome and Paduli.