Michele ROSA was born in Sora, on September 1st, 1925, from a family of ancient origins. He chose Rome to study, enrolling at the state scientific high school Camillo Cavour and then graduating from the Ripetta art school. He continued his studies enrolling first in the Roman Faculty of Architecture and subsequently continued his studies at the University of Naples, where he moved in 1950. In 1953 he moved to the United States of America, abandoning his Architecture studies to take courses at the Fine Arts faculty in Champaign, Illinois. Here he worked on research at the Department of Nuclear Physics under the direction of the Italian scientist Gilberto Bernardini. At the end of 1956 he left the USA to return to Europe, rejecting the chair of History of Art at the University of London.
When he returned, he frequented the Roman environment of Luchino Visconti and did a series of activities parallel to painting such as the review of critical notes and artistic reflections.
He officially began as a painter in the year 1956 with the 7th Figurative Art Exhibition in Alatri (Fr). In 1958 he took part in his first of several exhibitions held at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome: the 1st Exhibition of “Pittori della Regione”.
Michele Rosa, Sperlonga (Fr) – July 1960
In June 1960 he was invited to exhibit in Latina at the “Gaetano Loffredo” National Prize together with the Tassinari painters, Giuseppe Cesetti, Giorgio de Chirico, Domenico Purificato, Dario Vivaldi, Giovanni Omiccioli, Franco Miele, Renzo Vespignani, Beppe Guzzi, Gregorio Sciltian and Antonello Trombadori;
In August he was invited to the “11th edition of the Avezzano prize – national exhibition of the Visual Arts” in Avezzano (AQ) together with R. Brindisi, B. Cascella, S. Cavallo, G. Ceracchini, V. Ciardo, E. Fantuzzi, C .Levi, G. Omiccioli, G. Strachota, F. Trombadori, A. Vangelli and others. At the end of the year he took part in the national exhibition, “Art in free time” in Perugia (from November 19th to December 4th).
In September 1961 he was invited to the exhibition-contest: “Roma nel Risorgimento”, at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome. The following month he participated by invitation to the 1st exhibition of the “Artisti Ciociari”, always at the same location in Rome. In 1962 he won the purchase prize at the exhibition “Ciociaria vi presenta” also held in Rome at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni, whose commission was constituted among others by Valerio Mariani, the painter Domenico Purificato, the sculptor Enrico Martini, the journalists Claudia Refice, Costanzo Costantini and Guglielmo Quadrotta.
In 1962, he began the long and constant commitment in proposing and soliciting the establishment of an artistic institute superior to Sora in the offices of the relevant institutions (local and central). School painstakingly obtained from the city – with its decisive contribution – in 1970 under the name of “State Institute of Art”.
In 1963, he was present at the Roman exhibitions at the “Palazzo delle Esposizioni” with: the “4a mostra di arti figurative di Roma e del Lazio” (April-May), invited to participating with two works; the exhibition “Mostra concorso di arti figurative” (May 27-June 15) where he was awarded ; the exhibition “Lazio A.R.C.A.R.” (Associazione Regionale Culturale Artistico Ricreativa). The Roman series closes in 1964 with the participation in the National Exhibition of Figurative Arts “Il lavoro Italiano”, at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni (7-20 October) as well where he was awarded with a gold medal.
The jury during a discussion in the “Painting in Ciociaria” competition at the Abbey of Casamari, aprile 1963
As part of the commitment to encourage cultural initiatives in the disadvantaged province, promoted in April of the same year, the important competition of “Painting in Ciociaria” at the Abbey of Casamari, where he was part of the jury chaired by big names such as Giorgio De Chirico together with Eliano Fantuzzi, Felice Ludovisi, Franco Miele, Claudia Refice, Carlo Savini, Giuseppe Selvaggi, Gisberto Ceracchini.
He was also the promoter and curator of three editions (1965 and 1967 and 1971) of the “Biennial of Sacred Art” of Painting and Sculpture in Sora, with the patronage of the Episcopal Curia of the Diocese of Sora-Aquino-Pontecorvo.
In 1965, at the “La Saletta” gallery in Frosinone, he took part in a group exhibition with Vincenzo Ciardo, Enotrio Pugliese, Giulio Turcato, Antonio Vangelli, Pier Carlo Pantieri and Mario Russo; the following year in Sora his paintings were exhibited together with those of Lido Bettarini and Riccardo Benvenuti, in the alternation of expository moments to incessant organizational ideas.
In 1967 he exhibited at the “Montmartre” gallery in Paris, the city from which he received from his friends-colleagues in 1969 the investiture as honorary consul of the “Republique de Montmartre”, the famous artists’ quarter.
In fact, he considered participation in international events an integral part of the commitment to local cultural promotion, also participating in the following exhibitions in Italy: in 1963 at the International Competition of Extemporaneous Painting, 7th Prize at the international competition of extemporaneous painting “Vincenzo Cardarelli” of Tarquinia (VT) and at the 1st International extemporaneous Painting Exhibition, Latina (LT). The following year he was invited to the International Prize for extemporaneous painting “City of Tivoli”, in Tivoli where he was awarded. In 1965 he took part in the International exhibition of extemporaneous painting “Premio Mentana”, in Mentana.
1966 was the year in which he exhibited at a pair of solo exhibition at the “Salon ULUH” (today HULU) in Split and Zagreb (former Yugoslavia), and at the 1st International contemporary art exhibition, “Il Gabbiano” gallery, Ostia Lido (RM).
Michele Rosa, Segni (Fr) – 13 August 1961
The following year, he was invited to the 4th international extemporaneous prize of Painting “Giovane Europa”, Milano Marittima (RA).
In 1971 he was again invited to France at the “Cinquantenaire Republique de Montmartre” exhibition in Paris.
In 2009 he took part in the group exhibition “Anteprima di Art’Ambiente” held at the Palazzo dei Congressi in Rome-Eur (from 14 to 16 May) with Flavia Mastrella and others.
Following up the experience related to the establishment of the “La Saletta”, established the “Arte Club Espositione”, via Cantelmi in Sora, a venue for artistic events that, since the beginning of 1969 and for about eight years, he hosted painters from all Italy and with various luck.
Michele Rosa in Costa Azzurra -1965
He interrupted the experience of gallery owner and artist in about 1977 for the onset of a sad illness that forced him to a long rest.
He re-established himself in the late ’70s and gradually returned to the cultural scene with reviews of plays, paintings and music but marked in character.
In the early eighties of the twentieth century he resumed painting and making some stays in Paris.
He exposed to the group exhibition at the “Salammbo” gallery, also in Paris (from 22 November 1988). However, participation in national or foreign awards had only become occasional.
Although the dissemination activity on the territory suffered a substantial and significant downsizing, began a phase of greater introspection that led him to experiment with new techniques and themes to arrive at a renewed maturing synthesis, without losing the creative anxiety that has always animated him.
In 2013 he was conferred, by the Head of State Giorgio Napolitano, the honorary title of Knight of the Order of Merit of the Republic.
After the death of his wife in 2017, he gradually returns to devote himself to exhibition activity. Among the most significant: permanent exhibition at the Palazzo della Regione Lazio, Rome; to the municipal building of the municipality of Dudelange in Luxembourg, subsequently to the Italian consulate in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg; at the Triennale of visual art in Rome. He suddenly passed away on June 24, 2021 in Sora, his hometown, without being able to attend the artistic events to which he had been invited such as the XIII Florence Biennale, the International Exhibition of Contemporary Art in Florence and the Betesda Art Quadrennial in Warsaw, Poland.
He is considered one of the masters of the last century, present at the great retrospective of the masters of the twentieth century in Frosinone.
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