(b. 1979, IT) 


Selected exhibitions





Tonino Mattu, born in 1979 in Nuoro, Sardinia, Italy, is an Italian visual artist living and working Oristano, Sardinia, Italy. Mattu is known for his characteristic oil paintings of figures hovering between reality and fiction, effectuated by using a warm palette dominated by raw and/or burnt umber and sienna.


The Italian artist continuously examines the human figure from a pictorial and socio-historical point of view. Marked by a strong affinity for history, Mattu takes on socio-political issues from the 20th century up to today in the tradition of a wider movement of New European Painting, such as the lingering effects and the collective trauma of the Second World War or our recent colonial history.


The source material for Mattu's works is diverse. Often, the artist takes on archival photographic images and reworks by removing them from their original context, erasing, fading or altering certain elements. As a result, a unique tension emerges between abstraction and figuration, using the boundaries and composition lines of the original image as a guideline from which he artistically deviates.

Mattu participated at major events such as the 54th Venice Biennale in 2011 at the Italian Pavilion. He has had solo and group shows at institutions such as the Antonio Ortiz Echagüe Museum in Atzara (IT) in 2018, at the Italian Institute of Culture in Bucharest (RO) and the Man Museum in Nuoro (IT) in 2017, the Murats Museum in Samugheo (IT) in 2014 and the Quartissimo Museum, Quartu Sant’Elena (IT) in 2010. Further, Tonino Mattu has been selected as a finalist at the Wells Contemporary Art, the Pio Alferano Award, the Carlo Bonatto Minella Award, the Sulmona Award and has won the Marchionni Award. As a result, his works is collected by private and public collections across the globe.


Selected exhibitions:


2021, The Golden Days (solo exhibition), CAI Gallery, Kortrijk, BE 

2020, Uncurated (group exhibition), Størpunkt Gallery, Munich, DE 

2020, Presagi (group exhibition), Licanias Festival (curated by Anna Rita Punzo), Neoneli, IT

2020, The New Portrait (group exhibition), Størpunkt Gallery, Munich, DE

2018, Aquadrom (group exhibition), Reinart Gallery, Neuhausen am Rheinfall, CH

2018, Contemporary. Le nuove frontiere dell’arte in Sardegna (group exhibition), Antonio Ortiz Echagüe Museum (curated by Antonello Carboni e Sabina Corriga), Atzara, IT 

2017, Warm up (solo exhibition), Italian Institute of Culture, Bucharest, RO 

2017, La Constante Resistenziale (group exhibition), Man Museum (curated by Micaele Deiana), Nuoro, IT

2017, The Brig (group exhibition), Pinacoteca Carlo Contini (curated by AskosArte and Ivo Serafino Fenu), Oristano, IT​

2016, In hoc signo (group exhibition), Fondazione Sardegna (curated by Vittorio Sgarbi), Cagliari, IT 

2015, Fragmenta (solo exhibition), Sant’Apollonia Church (curated by Erminia Pellechi), Salerno, IT 

2014, La Grande Notte (solo exhibition), Murats Museum (curated by Ivo Serafino Fenu), Samugheo, IT

2013, Time (solo exhibition), Fondazione Bartoli-Felter (curated by Alessandra Menesini), Cagliari, IT

2012, Caratteri ereditari e mutazioni genetiche (group exhibition), Man Museum (curated by Cristiana Collu), Nuoro, IT

2011, 54th Venice Biennal: Italian Pavilion (curated by Vittorio Sgarbi), Venice, IT

2011, Io so (group exhibition), Project Space Askosarte (curated by Chiara Schirru and Ivo Serafino Fenu), Solarussa, IT  

2010, Magnifiche sorti e progressive (solo exhibition), Sottopiano Gallery (curated by Caterina Spiga and Sandro Giordano), Cagliari, IT

2010, Autoritratto contemporaneo (group exhibition), Quartissimo Museum (curated by Sandro Giordano and Andrea Aversano), Quartu Sant’Elena, IT


2016, Finalist Wells Contemporary Art

2015, Winner Marchionni Award

2014, Finalist Pio Alferano Award

2013, Finalist Carlo Bonatto Minella Award

2010, Finalist Sulmona Award


Julien Delagrange, "Tonino Mattu" on Contemporary Art Issue (2020).

Arte Contemporanea in Sardegna 1957–2017. Magonza: 2017 Terra, XXIV Time in Jazz. Pav: 2011.

Lo stato dell'arte, 54th Venice Biennale, Italian Pavillion. Milan: Skira, 2011.


Fondazione Sardegna (public collection), Cagliari, IT 

Banca di Sassari (public collection), Sassari, IT

Man Museum (public collection, Nuoro, IT

Vittorio Sgarbi Collection (private collection), IT Fondazione Pio Alferano (public collection), Rome, IT

Private national and international collections