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"A life for Art"

“I approached painting by chance. At the beginning though I  had a lot of disappointments … “

He was born in Vercurago, in the Province of Lecco in Italy in 1950.


He attended the first elementary classes at the village school in a religious-pastoral-agricultural context that will accompany him on his life path. In a context divided between lake and hill, he spent his adolescence following the colors of the seasons, which were to become a constant theme of his painting,  he experimented his first sketches with the “Giotto pencils” the most famous pencil brand of those years. Those were the years of Bonacina’s adolescence, when  the ideas of infinity and freedom reflect the horizons that can be seen from the lake, and the ascent to the Castle of l’Innominato -the Unnamed character of I Promessi Sposi-,becomes  a challenge to savor the wind that messes your hair and makes you dream over the horizon.



He entered the graphic sector by attending the School of Pure and Applied Art of Merate.


Flanked by various respectable masters and inspired by their artistic attitudes, in 1975 he left the graphics and experimented with oil painting, his great passion.

“I had the opportunity to meet Massironi in a graphic design course. It was he who made me finally embrace art. The life of the artist is not easy especially if you want to do this profession as a job.”

At the beginning, Adelio Bonacina finds many difficulties, as it always happens in the art world. In the role of a painter he distinguishes himself for drawing and color, the first always synthetic and precise in its origin, the second  fresh and calibrated in an impressionist speech, but always proposed in an authentic way. The colors are bright in such a way as to create movement and a continuous play of colors.


Since 1985, with the critical guide of his painter friend Massironi, whose line oh thought he  fully shares, he begins new expressive works with mixed techniques, worthy of being known.


The work of Adelio Bonacina is chosen among the 200 indicated by the jury to participate in the final selection of the “Premio Arte 1986”.

Early nineties

After various experiences, in the early nineties he chooses to post studies and oil works with mixed and acrylic techniques. The exhibitions of Adelio propose an interesting painting that invites a personal, almost sentimental, certainly poetic interpretation, characteristics that Adelio Bonacina lives in his works “almost as a challenge to something interior that not even the painter knows”; “It is easy for him – still taking  cue from a criticism dedicated to him – to move from a complex thin but polychrome color mix to a sort of exciting gestural research, offset by great sentiment and poetry”.


Bonacina paints nature

The works of Adelio offer us studies on the landscape and we go from the marinas to the mountain views, passing through the wide open spaces of the plain. But what is it that makes them attractive? First of all the delicacy of a painting that, although very material and user of a technique, the mixed one, which certainly plays more on the strength than what  the oil could do in itself; a delicacy that   is  however capable of satisfying the innermost need for tenderness inherent in the heart of the beholder. Landscapes that are legible and immediately recognizable, but with an underlying message that is not equally decodable.

The idea of ​​Bonacina is that of a nature that is still clean and capable of restoring man his place in the universe: a nature where everything is in its place, while continuing to change into the irreversible cycle life / death / life.

But beyond the hidden conceptuality, the landscapes of Bonacina are also valid for their intrinsic construction. Among the most successful paintings are those that have a short side (that of height) and a much longer one(that of length). The result is a vast and breathless “panorama” where the eye flows freely and the observer’s mind can range without obstacles.
The artist appreciates the wind, its ability to change the appearance of things: the surface of the sea as well as that of a lawn; the fronds of a forest of birch and chestnut trees as well as the rays of sunlight in a field in June. And so here the wind often becomes the protagonist and in these “oversized” pictures the wind draws something that comes out of the painting itself to touch, wisely, the senses of the spectator. (Anna Caterina Bellati)

The artist from Bergamo worked as a lithographer for many years in his youth, this is why he  learnt how “ to work” the colors.


Critics approach the painting of the artist from Valle San Martino to the style of Cascella …

The technique of execution of his works is an oil and acrylics mixed technique. He creates numerous very materic paintings: they have thick brushstrokes that form reliefs on the canvas. Many are the colors. Critics approach the painting of the artist from Valle San Martino to the style of Cascella.


The “Don Gnocchi” Foundation of Inverigo gives the painter Adelio Bonacina a special recognition for having drawn the sketch of the bronze plaque that is handed over to the various authorities and personalities who met at the famous “Rotonda” of the Brianza area during the celebrations for the 50 ” foundation year. Bonacina is a distinctly impressionist painter with a clear Lombard matrix he presents works ranging from landscapes to figures, with a solid and correct design, supported by vivid and essential colors. It offers the proof and the willingness of what happens in the soul of an artist when the naturalistic vision is transferred to that of poetic memory.


Emotions in color – the colors of emotions

The natural spectacle is translated by Adelio Bonacina’s brush in a mature and lush explosion of color. In his landscapes , where flowery corollas stand out red, the green vast extent of ground  expand as far as  the horizon, leaving just a glimpse of the blue line of the sky, while the surface of the canvas ripples to suggest the movement carried by a breath of wind.

In this period, the collection of poems by Lucio Zaniboni “Luci di mare” has been illustrated by Adelio Bonacina, together with Ilario Sirri. The waves, the seagulls, the beaches and the umbrellas, the atmospheres bathed by the sun or covered by the moon, offer the author the opportunity to reflect on the meaning of life and human destiny as the following poem emphasizes: 


Lascia l’ormeggio
e vola sulle acque
la vela all’orizzonte
è ora una piccola paglia
poi il cielo col mare
si confonde
Così penso alla morte:
una vela che salpa.”


Colors, profusely, warm, Mediterranean, material, kneaded on canvas in the form of flowers, meadows, landscapes, seascapes: it is a sort of return to impressionism what Adelio Bonacina presents in exhibitions at this time. But unlike the en plein air painting of French masters, the artist from Lecco offers a gallery of images of memory:

“My easel remains inside the studio, far from the hegemony of reality. I filter only the suggestions of it, memories transfigured by fantasy. For this reason my views of Lake Como or of some glimpses of the sea are not as they appear to visitors: they are almost dreamlike images, in which the viewer can see even more. “

Adelio presents to the public a series of marine and floral landscapes made of acrylic or mixed technique on canvas or masonite. Works with a confident personality, made in a modern figurative style,which on several occasions have obtained acknowledgments from both the public and the critics, and that have earned him achievements at national level. In fact, In fact, Bonacina was a finalist in the “Arte Mondatori Prize” and has won prizes in national competitions, such as “the Emilio Gola Prize”, the “Bormio County Prize”, the” F.lli Agazzi Prize”.

From a careful vision of the works that the artist presents, one immediately grasps his love for nature, caught in the most significant moments of lights and color combinations that force the passerby to linger to fully enjoy such beauty.

2005 – 2008

Nature between colors and emotion

“It is always the passion that guides you, it takes you forward.”

After an almost five-year-old absence he returns to exhibit his works in Calolzio, in his town. In recent times he has made several exhibitions throughout Italy.He has  taken parts in group exhibitions in Cesenatico, Verona, Milan, Trieste. But returning to Calolzio gives him a great emotion.

“My painting has been called” Lombard Naturalism “. It is a way of painting called “material”. Colorful. Characterized by the use of pure color. Initially I used oil colors. Now I adopt a mixed technique, with particular attention to acrylic. Defining my way of painting, like that of anyone else, is always difficult. Everyone looks for his own way. I’m glad when you tell me that my paintings are recognizable by the brushstroke. “

The author proposes a collection of works that recall summer and sunny landscapes for the intensity of colors and depth. The artist exhibits canvases that are mostly focused on still-lifes and landscapes. The painter makes exhibitions focused on the subjects that distinguish him – landscapes with poppies and sunflowers rich in substance and strong colors, in acrylic, oil and enamels -, but he also focuses  on new or rediscovered themes, such as sails and marine landscapes. One feels the dynamism of shapes and colors in his paintings.

Colorful, every detail carefully studied, dashed with brushstrokes full of strength and intensity, the paintings of Bonacina have attracted the curiosity of numerous art critics for the strong charge of sincerity and authenticity present within them. It should be noted that the cover of Adriano Stasi’s book “Work, culture, health: the values of craftsmanship” has been entrusted to Bonacina himself who, with the painting “All peoples will go to their Lord”, wanted to express the condition of man . The titles of the works already say a lot about the style of the painter: “Flowers on the beach”, “Poppies in the wheat”, “Summer”, “Field of poppies” and “Night symphony”, just to name a few;. The evocative capacity of the appellation abducts, kidnaps the viewer in a warm and fragrant world.



His personal, “Beyond the river” set up in the” Italo Neri” exhibition rooms  has, as always, achieved a good critical and public success. The optimism of Adelio Bonacina comes from the colors and conquers the public.

“The title of this exhibition is not accidental – says Bonacina – because it represents my desire to go beyond the first paintings and to compose new landscapes, not necessarily linked to the Lecco context. “


Sun & Color

After having reached the important professional goal, he exhibited at Palazzo Falk in Lecco from 8 to 26 April in an exhibition organized with Confcommercio to support Uildm and scientific research.
Observing his study, the attention also falls on the picture of a soldier on the ground…..

“I made it on the occasion of the first Gulf War – he remembers – I like experimenting, although I remain attracted above all by panoramic views, the most appreciated by the public.”

To the question “What about the artist’s work at this moment of crisis?” He replied “Hard, more than usual, but for painting there must always be space.” In the works of this period the artist portrays in particular flowering meadows, marine views, natural landscapes. It also uses mixed techniques with applications.


As always, it focuses on strong and very textured colors. Nature is among the protagonists of his most appreciated works, from “Lawns on canvas” to “Bushes”, from “Landscapes with poppiesi” to “The beach”. There are also human subjects such as the splendid “Dreaming Girl” or religious-themed paintings, such as “Christ before the Judges”. The material painting of Bonacina immediately conquers the observer, as well as his artistic games clearly visible in the sea or in “Snow games”. Among the favorite subjects there are the paintings concerning Jesus and His passion, the works of social denunciation or historical memory, but also the paintings of women, flowers and plants.


He is presenting  grittier and grittier, rougher and rougher and  more and more colored works. Let us concentrate on  the art of Adelio Bonacina, an all-round artist, so much so as to be called ” paint-sculptor”.During the presentation of the exhibitions the spokesmen speak unanimously of very lively and modern expressiveness. They call him the heir of Impressionism and fauvism on the footsteps  of Matisse because of the vigorous colorism of his works, of their strong and tireless artistic experimentation, both formal and substantial.  The author also presents works on jute canvas, in which the artistic value is not given so much by naturalistic representation, but by the matter, he displays other works on the border between figurative and informal-abstract in tune with the particular contemporary artistic sensibility.


The landscapes of Bonacina enchant the lake.

Adelio Bonacina offers not only landscapes and panoramic views, but also portraits. Among his admirers, Carlo Castellaneta, Raffaele Crovi, Raffaele De Grada and Bruno Munari.


“A life for art”

Adelio Bonacina in his personal exhibition at Olginate in Villa Sirtori proposes a personal anthology: about forty works realized with different techniques from 1980 to 2017. Scenic landscapes and views of rare and high suggestion, portraits and figures of strong emotional intensity, informal works of advanced expressive and conceptual modernity. This, in a nutshell, is the artistic world of Adelio Bonacina, “a painter of great talent and consolidated experience”, as described by the art critic Silvano Valentini.