Born in Caramanico Terme in 1956, Oliviero Rainaldi is a sculptor and painter. He studied at the Venice Academy of Fine Arts alongside painter Emilio Vedova and graduated at the Academy of Fine Arts of L’Aquila with Fabio Mauri. Between 1998-1999 he extended his personal interest for the connection between Art and Liturgy, attending the biennium of studies at the Theological Institute of Sant’ Anselmo and also a three year course of Theology for Laici in Rome.
Since 1976, the work of Rainaldi has focused on the human figure, through an exploration of drawings, paintings and sculptures. In the nineties he began to create compositions of a hidden narrative character. He switched to portraying isolated figures, depicted through linear signage in perfect simplicity. He allowed bodies or fragments of bodies to exist simply through their fine and subtle connections with the archaic and medieval cultures. Such works include the series Gisant (1990), Battesimi Umani (1992), Caduti (1993), or the more recent Santo (2000), Conversazioni (2001) and Vergini (2006).
In 2007 he presented at Palazzo Venezia in Rome a major exhibition of works from 1988 to 2006. Still in Rome, in 2010, he presented The Nature of Things, an exhibition of sculptures using water at the gardens of Villa Aldobrandini. In 2011 the same show was moved at the National Museum of Villa Pisani (VE) and in 2013 at the Venice International University (VE), on the occasion of 55th Venice Biennale Art Exhibition.
The Italian Staurós Foundation in San Gabriele (TE, 1999), the Museum of Modern and Contemporart Art in Bologna (MAMbo) (2003), the Museum of Contemporary Art in Shanghai (MOCA) (2015) and the Petronas gallery in Kuala Lumpur (2015) have dedicated to Rainaldi importants solo shows.
Since 2000, Rainaldi has worked on various ecclesiastical commissions, creating the liturgical furnishings for churches in Rome, Terni, Prato and Warsaw. During the Jubilee of 2000, the Pope John Paul II awarded him the title of ‘Academic’ of the Pontifical Academy of Fine Arts and Letters of the Virtuosi of Pantheon.
Between 2007 and 2010, he created sculptures-awards on commission dedicated to the issues of peace, human rights and culture, including: Alberto Sordi award (2009 to 2012); award for the peace San Francesco d’Assisi, Comunità S. Egidio, Rome / Assisi (2006 to 2008); award for San Valentino per l’impegno per la pace, Robert F. Kennedy Foundation of Europe (2008); 8o World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, Campidoglio, Rome (2007); La Scienza per l’Uomo award, University Campus Biomedico, Rome (2007); Anima award, Unione degli Industriali e delle imprese, Rome (2010).
In 2010 Rainaldi was awarded the European Personality Prize in Campidoglio, Rome and in 2015 the Brand Personality Award from ‘Asia Pacific Brand Foundation. Always in 2015 he receives a commission by Maserati Group to create a retroilluminated sculpture in marble for the celebration of the 100 years of the company.
His works have been shown in various museums and exhibitions in Italy and abroad, including:
GAM, Rome (1990); Otis Parson, Los Angeles (1991); Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt (1993); Polk Museum, Florida (1996); Museum Beelden aan Zee, Scheveningen (2000); Museum of Modern Art Rupertinum, Salzburg (2000); National Museum Jakarta, Indonesia (2001); Műcsarnok Kunsthalle, Budapest (2002); Tokyo Design Genter, Gotanda (2004); Byzantine and Christian Museum, Athens (2006); Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids, Michigan (2006); MASP – Museum of Art of São Paulo, São Paulo (2008); National Museum of Fine Arts, Buenos Aires (2008); Museo Jose Luis Cuevas, of Mexico City (2009); Expo, Shanghai (2010); Blickachsen 8, Bad Homburg and Frankfurt (2011);
His works can also be seen in the collections of important national and international public institutions, including:
Battesimi Umani, seat of the Nobel prize, Municipality Palace, Stockholm (1995); Battesimi Umani, Palace of ONU, Geneva (1998); Engagement, MACRO, Rome (2000); La déjeuner sur le blanc, MAMbo, Bologna (2003); The Collection of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Rome; Conversazioni, Piazza del Cinquecento, Rome (2011-2012); Santo, The Pontifical Council for Culture, Vatican City (2012); Antigone, Avvocatura dello Stato, Rome (2013); Art in Embassies, Villa Taverna, Rome (2014); University of Roma Tre (2015); Soumaya Foundation, Mexico City (2015);