At the end of the 70’s after studying flute at high school with Marlaena Kessik, he graduated in electronic music composition under the guidance of Maestro Angelo Paccagnini at the Conservatorio Giuseppe Verdi in Milan; at the time he met Berio, Donatoni, Boulez and Xenakis and experimented with electronic music at the Milan Conservatory, the Centro Nazionale per le Ricerche in Pisa and at IRCAM in Paris. He composed electronic music works which obtained internationally accolades and was awarded the second prize at the Russolo Pratella international competition and a mention from the Sibelius Akatemie in Helsinki. During these same years he met the collector Giuseppe Panza, a central figure for his cultural and artistic development: thanks to him he met all the leading figures in pop, conceptual, body, minimal and land art. With Giuseppe Panza he travelled America to discover new artists; among others he happened to meet J. Cage with whom he shared his passion for sound and J. Turrell with whom he flew over the Painted Desert and was among the first visitors of the Roden Crater.
The merging of image and music into a single work of art is a distinctive gesture that defines Stefano Ughi’s personality. His first works played a decorative role. After all at the time his professional career was focused on architecture. The style of his works was linked to an aesthetic taste which could be defined as minimal. Music was not yet included in his aesthetic representations; visual art and music were travelling on parallel paths, but one did not interfere with each other. The “visual” works at the time were monochrome surfaces made up of panels sliced into many parts and framed in steel. However, the crucial work that prompted him to follow this artistic bent and carried him towards evolution that is clear to see in his latest works was his “Deep Red” creation. This work is made up of a steel frame with sheets of the same metal glued onto a wooden panel. The main idea behind these first experiments is linked to his interest in the monochromatic interplay that is brought about each time there is communication between colour and its visual effects, tangibly experienced in the meeting of light and the unavoidable shadows and also in the reverberations offered by colour laid on different material surfaces such as wood, steel and laminated plastic elements.
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