Valerio Adami, a major figure in the Narrative Figuration movement, is returning to Brussels with a show at Galerie Templon, forty years after his last solo exhibition at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in 1966.

The Galerie Daniel Templon exhibition invites visitors on a journey around his recent works, marked by the familiar elegance of the artist-philosopher’s approach.

Valerio Adami puts together complex allegories in compositions that feature his favourite themes: travel, music, literature and theatre. Despite the sparkling colours that light up the canvases, the figures who populate them often seem to be prey to introspection and melancholy. Each scene describes “the imminence of a tragedy” (Daniel Arasse).

His highly distinctive painting style, with its blocks of colours outlined in black, conjures up the fragility of life and the possibility of salvation through art. Drawing – its lines inextricably linked to words – is a “way of thinking” while colour, which redefines it, gives it its character.

Ever present at the heart of his work, which he defines as philosophical interrogations of the verb, lies the concept of enigma, accompanied here by an abundance of literary references.

Valerio Adami lives in Paris, Monte Carlo and Meina (Italy). Born in 1935 in Bologna, Valerio Adami’s work is influenced by his time at Felice Carena's studio, his Venice meeting with Oskar Kokoschka, and his studies under Achille Funi at the Brera Academy in Milan.

He began exhibiting his work in 1958, including at Documenta III in Germany (1964), the Jewish Museum New York (1968), the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (1970), the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris (1985) and the Tel Aviv Museum in Israel (1996). He has overseen the creation of a foundation dedicated to drawing based in Meina (Italy). He took part in the 2008 major exhibition on Narrative Figuration at the Grand Palais in Paris and exhibited at the Boca Raton Museum of Art in Florida in 2010.

A major retrospective of his work was held in 2015, travelling from Turin to Mantua then Perpignan. 2016 has seen the Vienna Secession exhibit his early drawings, his oils on canvas on show at the Chapelle Saint-Sauveur in Saint-Malo, and a retrospective.