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Soho’s CIMA presents Mario Schifano Exhibit

Leonardo, 1963 Enamel on paper laid down on two attached canvases 78 3/4 x 78 3/4 in (200 x 200 cm) Private Collection © Archivio Mario Schifano © 2020 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SIAE, Rome

An exhibition of works from 1960-65 by Mario Schifano is scheduled to open at Soho’s Center for Italian Modern Art (CIMA) from January 26 – June 5. In addition to Schifano’s works, the exhibit will feature Robert Rauschenberg, Jim Dine, Jasper Johns and others.

Schifano led a colorful life, and his social circle included Cy Twombly, the French film-maker; Jean-Luc Godard and members of the Rolling Stones. A weakness for illegal drugs, meanwhile, earned Schifano six separate prison sentences.

Schifano brought a rock’n’roll spirit to the art world — and not just because he created and briefly managed his own group, The Stars of Mario Schifano. He drove around Rome in a Rolls Royce and had countless girlfriends, the best-known of whom was the model-cum-actress Anita Pallenberg.

The artist’s connection to the English rockers went further than that, though: Richards and Mick Jagger gave cameo performances in a film he directed, “Umano non Umano” (1968), and he was even the inspiration for a Rolling Stones song “Monkey Man” on the album Let It Bleed.

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