Enrico Donati (American, 1909–2008), most often associated with the Surrealist movement of the 1940s, was born in Milan, Italy. He studied economics at the Universita degli Studi in Pavia before moving to New York City in 1934, where he studied at the New School for Social Research and the Art Students’ League. In 1947 Donati helped to organize and contribute to the Exposition Internationale du Surréalisme in Paris. Following the decline of Surrealism in the late 1940s, Donati stayed current and adapted to changing trends by using new materials and textures in his work. He grew interested in Abstract Expressionism in the 1950s, which involved painting in a manner that appeared random and accidental, while in reality was thoroughly planned. A retrospective of Donati’s work was held in Brussels in 1961, and he was asked to exhibit at the Betty Parsons Gallery with other important Abstract Expressionist painters: Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock, and Barnett Newman. This period of his career is the most exceptional and imaginative one. Donati continued to work in the United States for the rest of his life, including teaching and lecturing at many locations including Yale University, and painting from his New York studio.

Timeline

1909
Born: in Milan, Italy
1928
Enrolled at University of Pavia, Italy
1933
Moved to Paris, France; joined a group of composers
1936
Returned to Paris, France. Enrolled in art school at the École de la rue de Berri
1940
Moved to New York, NY
1945
Naturalized American citizen
1960–1962
Visiting Lecturer at Yale University, New Haven, CT
1970
Chairman National Committee, University Art Museum of California, Berkeley, CA
1972
Became a Member of the Yale Univ. Council for Arts & Architecture, New Haven, CT
1972
Chairman National Committee, University Art Museum of California, Berkeley, CA
2008
Died: in New York, NY

Exhibitions

2007
The Surreal World of Enrico Donati, De Young Museum, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA (solo)
Retrospective, Weinstein Gallery, San Francisco, CA (solo)
2006
Weinstein Gallery, San Francisco, CA (solo)
2005
National Academy of Design, New York, NY
Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix , AZ
Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilboa, Bilboa, Spain
2002
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA
2001–2002
Tate Gallery, London, UK
Metropolitan Museum of Arts, New York, NY
1999
Musee National Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain
1997
Boca Raton Museum of Art, Boca Raton, FL (solo)
Maxwell Davidson Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
1996
Horwitch Newman Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ (solo)
1995
Horwitch Newman Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ (solo)
Maxwell Davidson Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
1994
Carone Gallery, Fort Lauderdale, FL (solo)
Louis Newman Gallery, Beverly Hills, CA (solo)
1992
Carone Gallery, Fort Lauderdale, FL (solo)
1991
Louis Newman Gallery, Beverly Hills, CA (solo)
1990
Carone Gallery, Fort Lauderdale, FL (solo)
1989
Galerie Zabriskie, Paris, France (solo)
Louis Newman Gallery, Beverly Hills, CA (solo)
1987
Gimpel & Weitzenhoffer Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
Galerie Zabriskie, Paris, France (solo)
1986
Gimpel & Weitzenhoffer Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
Louis Newman Gallery, Beverly Hills, CA (solo)
1985
Georges Fall, Paris, France (solo)
1984
Carone Gallery, Fort Lauderdale, FL (solo)
Gimpel & Weitzenhoffer Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
1982
Ankrum Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (solo)
1980
Palm Springs Desert Museum, CA (solo)
International Art Fair, Grand Palais, FIAC, Paris, France (solo)
1979
Ankrum Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (solo)
Norton Gallery of Art, West Palm Beach, FL (solo)
Osuna Gallery, Washington, D.C. (solo)
The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.
1978
Davenport Municipal Art Gallery, Davenport, IA (solo)
Hunter Museum of Art, Chattanooga, TN (solo)
Wildenstein Art Center, Houston, TX (solo)
1977
Ankrum Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (solo)
Minnesota Museum of Art, St. Paul, MN (solo)
The Chrysler Museum, Norfolk, VA (solo)
Fairweather Hardin Gallery, Chicago, IL (solo)
Tennessee Fine Arts Center, Nashville, TN (solo)
1976
Staempfli Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
1974
Staempfli Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
1972
Staempfli Gallery, New York, NY(solo)
1970
Staempfli Gallery, New York, NY(solo)
1968
Staempfli Gallery, New York, NY(solo)
1966
Staempfli Gallery, New York, NY(solo)
J.L. Hudson Gallery, Detroit, MI (solo)
1965
Obelisk Gallery, Washington, D.C. (solo)
1964
J.L. Hudson Gallery, Detroit, MI (solo)
Whitney Museum, New York, NY
1963
Staempfli Gallery, New York, NY(solo)
1962
Staempfli Gallery, New York, NY(solo)
Neue Galerie im Kunstlerhaus, Munich, Germany (solo)
1961
Retrospective, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Bruxelles, Belgium (solo)
1960
Betty Parsons Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
1959
Betty Parsons Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
1958
Lowe Art Gallery, Syracuse University, NY (solo)
1957
Betty Parsons Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
1956
Galleria del Naviglio, Milan, Italy (solo)
1955
Betty Parsons Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
1954
Betty Parsons Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
1953
Galleria d’arte del Cavallino, Venice, Italy (solo)
1952
Alexandre Iolas Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
Galleria d’arte del Cavallino, Venice, Italy (solo)
Galleria del Naviglio, Milan, Italy (solo)
1950
Galleria Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, Milan, Italy (solo)
Galleria del Milione, Milan, Italy (solo)
Paul Rosenberg Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
Galleria dell’Obelisco, Rome, Italy (solo)
1949
Durand-Ruel Galleries, New York, NY (solo)
A. Weil, Paris, France (solo)
1947
Durand-Ruel Galleries, New York, NY (solo)
Gallery Studio, Chicago, IL (solo)
Krouse College, Syracuse University, NY (solo)
1946
Durand-Ruel Galleries, New York, NY (solo)
1945
Durand-Ruel Galleries, New York, NY (solo)
1944
The Arts Club of Chicago, IL (solo)
G. Place Gallery, Washington, D.C. (solo)
Passedoit Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
1942
New School for Social Research, New York , NY (solo)
Passedoit Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
1942
New School for Social Research and the Passedoit Gallery, New York, NY (solo)

Literature

1996
Wolff, Theodore F. Enrico Donati: Surrealism and beyond. New York, NY: Hudson Mills Press, 1996