Sandro Chia is a central figure in the Italian Transvanguardia movement, a Neo-Expressionist group who sought to re-emphasize color and representation in their work in reaction to the Conceptual Art of the 1980s. Born in Florence, Italy, in 1946, Sandro Chia studied at the Istituto d’Arte and then at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence where he graduated in 1969. Since the 1980s, he has exhibited widely throughout Europe and the United States, especially in New York City where he lived and worked until the early 2000s. Today, Chia continues to work between his studios in Miami and Rome, and also follows the production of a prestigious line of award-winning wines at his Castello Romitorio wine-making estate in Montalcino.
Chia paints in an expressionistic, loosely figurative style emphasizing form and color. His pictorial language is colorful and eclectic, and explores earlier art movements, including Italian Mannerism, Cubism, Futurism, and Fauvism. The motifs he uses stem from antique and Christian mythologies, and are sometimes understood as a humorous, flippant commentary on religious writings. Chia's subjects range from the everyday to the classical tradition embedded in Italian history.
His work is included in prestigious public and private collections around the globe, including the collections of the Des Moines Arts Center, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Rivoli, Italy. Most recently, his work has been shown at the Tate Modern in London, and at the Venice Biennale.