Gianmaria Potenza was born on December 9th, 1936 in Venice, where he still lives and works in the artists area of San Trovaso.
He studied at the Art Institute of Venice under the guidance of Giorgio Wenter Marini, finishing his studies in 1956. He soon after opened his own studio where he to this day practices different forms of art; from sculpture to painting and mosaic.
1952 saw Potenza’s first official exhibit as he took part in a collective exhibition at the Bevilacqua La Masa Foundation, where he also held his first solo exhibit in 1958. As the best student of the Institute, he was invited to exhibit his works at the world renowned Venice Biennale in 1954 and 1956, and thereafter in 1958, 1960, 1966, 1968, 1986, 1995, 2009.
His fame as a fanciful and refined creator of forms spreads to such an extent that his work has attracted much commission from both Italy and abroad, particularly regarding his decoration of ships, hotels and public buildings, often collaborating with world renowned architects. Not less important are the works of religious art made for Italian and foreign churches. Between the sixties and seventies he also designed and produced religious vestments and church furnishings.
From the early sixties, Potenza has also been involved in the advertisement of images for various firms and chain stores. In 1968 he founded La Murrina glassworks, drawing objects and elements for lighting and decor.
Numerous solo and group exhibitions around the world have made Potenza’s work widely appreciated. To have an idea of just how popular his work has become, the last five years of Potenza’s work has seen several exhibits in St. Petersburg, Samara, Krasnodar, Rostov, Assisi, Rome, Venice, Padua, Genoa and Milan, without considering the many works already present in public and private collections around the world.
Critics have always stressed his great ability to invent exquisite art forms, always hovering between dimensions of instinct and culture, the mythical and the symbolic, by adopting the most diverse means; i.e. expanding the concept of painting and sculpture at the same time using old materials and new, contributing to the great art that in Venice, from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century, found its most famous interpreters.