Mario Nanni was born in 1922 Castellina in Chianti, Siena. The first artistic experiences began during the Grosseto years according to typically figurative modules, but the pictorial poetics that will characterize his entire career began to take shape in Bologna where the artist, fascinated by reality an already technological and mechanistic citizen, it brings the symbols of this new dimension onto its canvases, with a new language characterized by a dense and pasty material and by the accentuation of the shapes of the objects which, aiming at geometric, lucid and rational simplification, abandon realism figurative, opening up to a mental reality; in fact, if works such as Drawing of a partisan (1950) and Lo spaccalegna (1952-'53) are still of a realistic matrix, Distributor and Shipyard (both from 1954) already show this change of course Nanni begins to be present in important exhibitions since 1957, when he took part in the "14 + 2" exhibition at the Circolo della Cultura curated by F. Lodoli which collected a wide range of experimental research in the Bologna area and, in 1960, he held his first solo exhibition curated by M. Calvesi at the Salone Annunciata from Milan. With works from the informal and post-informal period, in 1983 the artist was invited to exhibit at the exhibition curated by R. Barilli and F. Solmi, "The informal in Italy", at the Municipal Gallery of Bologna.
Since the early sixties, the artist has abandoned the material and instinctual instances of the Informal to explore new creative possibilities. Both his reworking of futurist and metaphysical modules side by side in the same pictorial space and the passage - perhaps prompted by a particular interest in futuristic poetics that will never abandon him - to the experimentation of the aesthetic and expressive values of mechanical and technological elements, well represented, are original. from works such as Machine (1962) and Mechanism (1963), exhibited by Francesco Arcangeli in the traveling exhibition in Spain "Young Italian painters" of 1963.
Since 2000, Nanni has been investigating and modulating new spatialities by intervening again on maps transformed into new two-dimensional topographic structures with strong colors: with the pictorial experiments of The games of metamorphosis (Galleria Maggiore, Bologna, 2004, edited by V. Coen), all today at the center of his production, the artist undermines the certainties deriving from the conventional reproduction on paper of the environmental reality since, behind the apparently playful at the same time for certain signs, seductive for the tonal lights, it conceals a restless and alienating mental nature.