Lea Vergine

  • Milan bids farewell to the great designer Enzo Mari.

    He donated his archive to the city


20 October 2020Lea Vergine, famous curator and art critic, died at the age of 82, the day after the death of her husband Enzo Mari.

The death would have occurred due to complications related to Covid-19 at the San Raffaele in Milan, where she was hospitalized together with the designer and lifelong partner.

At Lea Buoncristiano, the Virgin has been one of the leading figures in art criticism of the last fifty years.

Born in Naples in 1938, she had studied new visual languages, analyzing the birth and evolution of body art.

Her contribution in the critical approach and in the re-evaluation of female artistic work has been revolutionary: she has in fact analyzed the function of women in the artistic phenomena of the first half of the twentieth century and has spent herself in enhancing the artistic contribution of women with exhibitions, writings and interventions.

Through her studies she paved the way for the performing arts and the affirmation of female artists.

During her career Lea Vergine has been linked to figures such as Gillo Dorfles, Arturo Schwartz, Camilla Cederna.

Known for her strong personality and her attentive gaze to contemporaneity, she had become famous in the art world thanks to the volumes on the studies of performative action, among which 'The body as language.

Body Art and similar stories' from 1974. This was the first essay dedicated to the current, made almost simultaneously with the movement.

At the end of the 70s she had moved from Naples to Milan and after years of living together she had married the designer Enzo Mari.

Together they had a daughter, Meta. “Art is not necessary”, Lea Vergine said in an interview.

“It is the superfluous.

And what we need to be a little happy or less unhappy is the superfluous.

You cannot use it, art, in life.

'Art and life' yes, in the sense that you dedicate yourself to that thing, but it is not that art can help you ”.