Barbara Nicoli

Nicoli's works are a synthesis of the delicate balance between nature and man. Nicoli is concerned with the human's interaction with the wild, in particular the delicate balance between societal development and nature’s coexistence, ruled by each side's ultimate quest for survival. She does so by employing innovative techniques, using materials such as metal spikes, branches, leaves, and methods such as the intaglio printing technique, to manipulate, shape, recreate and reinterpret the mystery of existence and its elusive meaning.

Visual Artist, performer, actress, Barbara Nicoli graduated in Conservation of Cultural Heritage – History of Contemporary Art at the University of Parma in 2000, and has studied acting at Susan Batson Studio in New York. From 2002 she undertook a personal path between visual and performing arts. In her works she uses a wide range of techniques: from painting to installations, from sculpture to intaglio etching. Within this latest technique she develops, starting from traditional methods, a peculiar, innovative experiment of language that places her work in a border territory between tradition and innovation.
The performance actions originate from her visual route: using the body, the voice, and the movement, the artist arrives at a unity and synthesis of languages.
In the performance “Foglie d’Albero” 2015 (“Leaves of Tree” 2015) – that was born from a site-specific installation designed for the show “Semiotic of Nature” (Milan, June 2015) – the artist blends harmoniously the meanings of the symbolic space with those of the performer.
Barbara Nicoli’s artistic research arises from a deep reflection on Nature and it is focused on pointing out the richness of plant’s inner life. This was the central theme of the exhibition “Nature, Interrupted” at the Hong Kong Arts Center in September 2014, and of all the works presented at Fine Art Asia 2014 in Hong Kong.
In 2012 she founded Locus Solus – the place of the arts, born from the meeting with artists from various disciplines with the aim to promote artistic projects, art editions and residences.

Her theater activity is intense and is strengthened both in Italy and abroad with directors such as Franco Brambilla, Cesar Brie, Danio Manfredini and in New York with Susan Batson, Jordan Bayne and Maureen Fleming. Among the last works, directed by Franco Brambilla, is included “63×50”: show designed for the 50 years of the Group ’63, which debuted in Rome at the Auditorium Parco della Musica (2013), “Orfeo, sings!” taken from the Sonnets to Orpheus of Rainer Maria Rilke and debuted in Milan at the Museum of ‘900 and the Monumental Cemetery in Milan (2014).
Always directed by Franco Brambilla, she is currently working on “From Dada to Dada”, a project dedicated to Dadaism through the texts of Tristan Tzara, Pablo Picasso and Daniel Spoerri, and at “La Tempesta perfetta” (The perfect storm) by Nanni Balestrini, inspired by a Giorgione’s painting that will debut in Venice in the context of the Biennale 2015.

Artist’s Website


– Solo Exhibition at Fabbrica Eos, Milan, “Semiotics of Nature”, curators Manuela Gandini and Nanni Balestrini (2015)
– Duo Exhibition at Hong Kong Arts Centre, Pao Galleries, “Nature, Interrupted”, curator Vanessa Saraceno, Hong Kong (Sept. 2014)
– Duo Exhibition at FINE ART ASIA 2014, Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, Hong Kong (Oct. 2014)
– Group exhibition at Gallery Ariel, Turin (2008)
– Open Art Prize, Rome, Sale del Bramante (2007)


In addition to a visual artist , Barbara has an intense activity as actress and performer.
She has made numerous theater pieces , forming and working with Jordan Bayne , New York ( 2013-14 ) ; Cesar Brie , Piacenza ( 2013-14 ) ; Franco Brambilla , Milan, Paolo Grassi Academy ( 2011-14 ) ; Susan Batson , New York ( 2013) ; Mary Setrakian , New York / Rome (2013) ; Nanni Balestrini , Rome (2013) ; Serge Nicolaï ( Theatre du Soleil ) , Paris (2013) ; Laura Pasetti , Piacenza (2013) ; Danio Manfredini , Parma (2012) ; Beatrice Bracco, Rome ( 2010-11 ) ; Max Malatesta, Rome (2010) ; Daniele Salvo , Rome ( 2009-10) .