Italian, 1935–2004

Dadamaino (born Eduarda Emilia Maino), a self-taught artist and a member of the Milanese avant-garde, had an incredibly rich and eclectic career. In the late 1950s, she received attention for her series of black-and-white canvases, what she called “Volumes,” that featured large punctured holes, much like Lucio Fontana’s “Buchi” (“Hole”) paintings. At this time, she was a member of Piero Manzoni’s Azimuth Gallery in Milan, which was connected with Germany’s Group Zero, the Dutch Group Nul, and Group Motus in France, though she later went on to join the Nouvelle Tendence movement whose members included Getulio Alviani, Bruno Munari, and Jesus Rafael Soto. In the 1970s, Dadamaino explored Op Art in a series of psychedelic optical paintings, and in the 1980s she developed original alphabet-like signs that she repeated obsessively in small, text-like formats on canvas. One of Italy’s most progressive artists, Dadamaino was twice included in the Venice Biennale.