Gian Ruggero Manzoni was born in 1957 in San Lorenzo di Lugo (RA), where he currently lives.
He is a poet, a narrator, a painter, an art critic, a playwright and a performer.
After finishing grammar school in Lugo di Romagna, in 1975 he joined the DAMS School of performing arts in Bologne.
After “The Movement of 1977” he left Bologne to join the Army as a volunteer. In the following years he spent time in Belgium, France and Germany, where he joined inspiring artistic groups. He taught History of Art, at the School of Fine Arts in Urbino from 1990 to 1995.
In 1984 and 1986, he took part in the “Venice Biennale” as an art theorist, painter and poet under the direction of Maurizio Calvesi. He has taken part in over 70 painting exhibitions and published over 50 papers.
He loves small town life and he likes to say of himself that “he has all the flaws of the small town man, but also all his virtues”.


Following his family tradition, since his youngest years, Gian Ruggero Manzoni, has been interested in the study of Judaism, Western and Eastern philosophy, anthropology and history. At the end of grammar school he studied music, cinema and modern language, in particular the phenomenon defined by the linguist Tullio De Mauro as “juvenile slang... new words used by young people”.
In 1980 he wrote his first book, in collaboration with Emilio Dalmonte, titled “Pesta duro e vai tranquillo/ dizionario del linguaggio giovanile” (“Stump hard and don’t worry / a dictionary of juvenile language”) (published by Feltrinelli).
In 1981 he started his friendship with the painter Omar Galliani, and since then they have been involved in a number of projects, some of which are still ongoing.
In 1983, while in London, he befriended the graffiti artist Keith Herring. In the same year he started working for the Roman journal “Cervo Volante” edited by the artist Tommaso Cascella and directed initially by Adriano Spatola, and then by Corrado Costa and finally by Edoardo Sanguineti together with Achille Bonito Oliva.
In the same years he got close to the artists of “Transavantgarde” in particular Enzo Cucchi and Mimmo Paladino but also Nino Longobardi and the gallerists Lucio Amelio from Naples and Emilio Mazzoli from Modena. It was in the 80’s that he became known for his paintings (that Manzoni himself defines as “ a visual continuum with his writing work”).
In 1984 he was invited by Maurizio Calvesi and Marisa Vescovo to take part as a poet and artist in the XLI Venice Biennale, where he curated together with the poet Valerio Magrelli the poetry section for “Arte allo Specchio”. In the same year he started a solid collaboration with the gallerist Cleto Polcina from Rome, where he spent a lot of time.

He eventually met Gino De Dominicis, with whom he spent many hours discussing about anthropology and about the Assyrian and Babylonian cultures, together with Mario Schifano and Amelia Rosselli.
In 1985 he brought to the stage his “Filokalia” a poetic theatrical representation performed by himself. The premiere was in Udine. In the same year the musician Fernando Mencherini, produced the music for Manzoni’s “La Religione del Suono”. The premiere was in Porto Venere.
After a period in Germany, where he spent time with artists such as Penck, Lupertz, Beuys, Immendorff, Disler, Polke, Baselitz (of which he followed several workshops), he returned to London and got close to Kenny Scharf, Bruce McLean and Jim Dine.
Once back in Italy, he worked with the cartoonist Andrea Pazienza, already his friend as a student in Bologne, with Augusto Daolio, lead singer in the group “Nomadi” and with his long time friend Pier Vittorio Tondelli. In 1986 he took part again in the Venice Biennale.
He spent time with Giovanni Testori and together with Marisa Vescovo, Concetto Pozzati, Piero Dorazio, Roberto Sanesi, Vettor Pisani and Omar Galliani he founded the journal “Origini” (published by La Scaletta), that he directed until 1998.
In 1987, his readings were accompanied by the music of jazz artists such as Mario Gallegati, Nicola Franco Ranieri, Giorgio Ricci Garotti and later on in the mid ‘90s by the music of pianist and composer Guido Facchini and the singer-vocalist Jhon De Leo. This is the time when the collaboration with Lucrezia De Domizio and her husband Budy Durini started. The acting company Giocovita and Paolo Valli, put on stage his manuscript “Per colui che è” dedicated to Ezra Pound. The narrating voice belonged to the director Egidio Marcucci and the set was by Graziano Pompili. The premiere was in Piacenza.

In 1988 he was invited to take part in the seminar “La nascita delle grazie” , an event organised in Riccione by the poets Giuseppe Conte, Rosita Copioli, Mario Baudino, Roberto Mussapi, Tomaso Kemeny and Stefano Zecchi (all artists that will become he hard core of Mitomodernismo). Part of the proceedings were published in the “Origini” journal.
In 1990 he started to attend the Milan artistic circles and became the supervisor of the cultural journal “Risk – Arte Oggi”, directed by Lucrezia De Domizio Durini, and together with Gianni Celati, he worked on the column “Narratori delle riserve” , a section in the “Manifesto” newspaper, entirely dedicated to prose.
In 1991 Fernando Mencherini, created the music for Manzoni’s “Il codice”. The premiere was in Lugo di Romagna, with a special performance of Stefano Scodanibbio at the double bass. In the same year he further studied the theories of Gorgia, Hume, Stirner, the Russian nihilists Zajcev and Pisarev, as well as Nietzsche, Heidegger, Benn, Bakunin, Jungler, Spengler, Carl Schmitt, Camus, Celine and many other modern theorists of nihilism and of the strong-thought movement.
In 1993 he started a collaboration with the publishing house “Il Saggiatore” and also became the Italian supervisor for the School of Thought “Liebe und Aktion” founded in 1901 in Berlin by H. Hoffmann and K. Fischer. Also in the early 90’s he met and started several collaborations with artists such as Giosetta Fioroni, Aldo Mondino, Giacinto Cerone, Arcangelo, Luigi Ontani, Jan Knap, Bruno Ceccobelli. Also, together with Miranda Cortes and the group “La Frontera” he put on stage (and performed as narrating voice) a theatre play with set design by Cesare Baracca. He took part in the works of the prose magazine “Il Semplice”, published by Feltrinelli and directed by Gianni Celati and Ermanno Cavazzoni. At the same time he worked as a sculptor on several vases and tiles, in the famous studio “Bottega di Ceramica Gatti” in Faenza.
These were the years when he met the German painter Anselm Kiefer.

And these were also the years when he entered the editorial group of “Letteratura-Tradizione” (published by Heliopolis) and directed three issues of the paper. Thanks to Matthes & Seitz Verlag, of Munich, in 2000 he published the poetry book “Il digiuno imposto”, illustrated by Mimmo Paladino. The book was first presented in Merano and Brunnenburg, in the castle that belonged to Ezra Pound, as well as at the Book Exhibition of Frankfurt, in Berlin, Cologne, Munich and other German cities. The musician Brian Eno took part into this project.
In 2001 he met Alessandro Scansani director of the publishing house Diabasis, of which he became author and associate.
In 2002 he spent time in Argentina and Uruguay, to promote his book “Il diguno imposto” translated by the poet Pablo Anadon.
In 2004 he formed a literary circle together with the poets Andrea Ponso, Francesco Camerini, Rino Cavasino, Sebastiano Gatto, Luca Ariano, Davide Brullo and others. All their works were included in the anthology/ manifesto “Oltre il tempo” (published by Diabasis).
In 2005 he joined the Scientific Committee for Cultural and Literary Activities of the Camaldoli Monastery.
In 2006 he went back to working in the theatre and put on stage some of his monologues accompanied by the singer/vocalist Jhon De Leo.
In 2008 he founded the journal “Ali” (from the origin of the universe – from the origins of abyss) published by Bradipo, a four-monthly journal about art, literature and thoughts. In this editorial adventure he has been accompanied by the scientist Edoardo Boncinelli, art critics Marisa Vescovo and Claudia Casali, literature critics Paolo Lagazzi, Marco Sangiorgi and Giancarlo Pontiggia, the translator Marco Fazzini, the director Nicola Macolino, the painter and poet Salvatore Scafiti. In that same year he put on stage “Il sonno di MacBeth” with the acting company “Abraxas”. The premiere was in the Teatro Savoia in Campobasso.

In 2009 he left the Scientific Committee for Cultural and Literary Activities of the Camaldoli Monastery and started working on the translation of the biblical “Esodo” published by Raffaelli of Rimini.
In 2010 he went back to work with the German School of Thought “Liebe und Aktion”.
In 2011 he taught painting and sculpture at the Espace Polychrome in Liege, Belgium.
In 2012 he translated the biblical “Genesis” and with Mimmo Paladino they put together a book of poetical prose and water colours. “Tutto il calore del mondo” was published by Skirà in 2013. At the end of 2013 he went back to Germany to meet one of his old teachers, George Bazelist and then in 2012 he spent some time in Great Britain where his daughter had moved to.
His literary work has been translated and published in Greece, Spain, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile and USA. He won several literary prizes: Savignano Poesia Inedita (1986), Mont Blanc Narrativa Inedita (1993), Todaro-Faranda Narrativa Inedita (1996), Confesercenti-Bancarella Narrativa (2002), Città di Bari- Costiera di Levante Narrativa (2002), Francesco Serantini Narrativa (2004).



  • Il mercante di allodole, with serigraphies by the author. Ed. Mazzotti, Bagnacavallo, 1981.
  • Filokalia, with drawings by Sergio Monari. Ed. Cervo Volante, Roma, 1983.
  • Le tavole dei reziari, with works by Sergio Monari. Ed. I Telai del Bernini, Modena, 1983.
  • L' orizzonte dei baratti, with drawings by Tommaso Cascella. Ed. Cervo Volante, Roma, 1984.
  • La religione del suono, with drawings by Tommaso Cascella. Ed. Le parole gelate, Roma, 1985.
  • Il sicario della Tiade, with drawings by Garouste, Barni, Monari, Bonechi, Galliani. Ed. Cleto Polcina, Roma, 1985.
  • Seth. Ed. Walberti, Lugo di Romagna, 1986.
  • Discorsi Latini. Ed. Premio di Poesia Savignano, Savignano sul Rubicone , 1986.
  • Il tredicesimo mese/Il tempo abbandonato, with drawings by Tommaso Cascella. Ed. Ellequadro, Genova, 1990.
  • Il codice. Ed. Origini/La Scaletta, San Polo d'Enza, 1991.
  • Il dolore, with drawings by Omar Galliani. Ed. All'Insegna del Pesce d'Oro/Scheiwiller, Milano, 1991.
  • Le battane di bronzo, with drawings by Bruno Ceccobelli. Ed. La Stamperia dell'Arancio, Grottammare, 1994.
  • L' evento. Ed. Moby Dick, Faenza, 1997.
  • Nell' abbraccio dell' io, with water colours by Luigi Ontani. Ed. Enrico Astuni, Fano, 1998.
  • Il digiuno imposto, artwork by Mimmo Paladino. Ed. Matthes & Seitz Verlag, Monaco di Baviera, 2000, e Ed. Emede, Buenos Aires, 2002.
  • Deserti di quiete, with drawings by Aldo Mondino. Ed. I Quaderni del Circolo degli Artisti, Faenza, 2001.
  • Gli addii. Ed. Moretti & Vitali, Bergamo/Milano, 2003.
  • Resistere fino all’ultimo uomo, art work by Iller Incerti. Ed. Diabasis, Reggio Emilia, 2004.
  • Scritture scelte Volume I e II. Ed. del Bradipo, Lugo di Romagna, 2006.
  • Elogio alla diversità, with art work by the author. Ed. Arte Com, Avellino, 2008.
  • Tutto il calore del mondo, with art work by Mimmo Paladino. Ed. Skirà/Rizzoli, 2013.
  • Nel vortice della acque superiori, with art work by Omar Galliani. Ed. Raffaelli, 2015.


  • Gotthold Nysa. Edizioni del Bradipo, Lugo di Romagna, 1989, then Ed. Feltrinelli, Milano, 1996.
  • L'impresa, serigraphies by Enzo Cucchi. Ed. Essegi, Ravenna, 1991.
  • Caneserpente. Ed. Il Saggiatore, Milano, 1993.
  • Il Francese. Edizioni del Girasole, Ravenna, 1995.
  • Autoritratti, art work by the author. Ed. Essegi, Ravenna, 1998.
  • Gli sfidanti metafisici, with drawings by Lucio Del Pezzo. Ed. Corraini, Mantova, 1999.
  • Tango Croato, with drawings by the author. Ed. Campanotto, Pasian di Prato, 2001.
  • Il Morbo. Ed. Diabasis, Reggio Emilia, 2002.
  • La Banda della Croce. Ed. Diabasis, Reggio Emilia, 2005.
  • L'albero di Maehwa. Ed. Gruppo Albatros (part of the book series he edited), Roma, 2008.
  • Una macchia nel sole. Edizioni del Girasole, Ravenna, 2009.
  • I teatranti perduti. Ed. Gruppo Albatros (part of the book series he edited), Roma, 2013.
  • Acufeni. Ed. Guaraldi, Rimini, 2014.
  • La voce. Ed. Carteggi Letterari, Messina, 2016.


  • Penteo. Ed. Altri Termini, Napoli, 1987.
  • Cutman (with Raffaele Rago). Ed. Walberti, Lugo di Romagna, 1987.
  • Il sonno di Macbeth (with Nicola Macolino). Edizioni del Bradipo, Lugo di Romagna, 2009.
  • Per colui che è, con disegni dell'autore. Ed. Il Vicolo, Cesena, 2016.


  • Pesta duro e vai trànquilo/Dizionario del linguaggio giovanile (with Emilio Dalmonte). Ed. Feltrinelli, Milano, 1980.
  • Pelàsgi/I poeti romagnoli in lingua (with Davide Argnani). Ed. Maggioli, Rimini, 1986
  • I manifesti/Gli scritti di un sicario. Ed. Walberti, Lugo di Romagna, 1989.
  • La guerra dei poeti, art work by Marco Pellizzola. Ed. Essegi, Ravenna, 1992.
  • Peso vero sclero/Dizionario del linguaggio giovanile di fine millennio. Ed. Il Saggiatore, Milano, 1997
  • Piloti, aviatori, cosmonauti, motociclisti, paintings by the author. Ed. Essegi, Ravenna, 1999.
  • Guerrieri, paintings by the author. Ed. Essegi, Ravenna, 2000.
  • Teatri per la memoria (with Giosetta Fioroni). Ed. Essegi, Ravenna, 2000.
  • Il giardino dei giusti, un dialogo con Giacinto Cerone. Ed. Essegi, Ravenna, 2001.
  • Oltre il tempo/11 poeti per una Metavanguardia. Ed. Diabasis, Reggio Emilia, 2004.
  • Esodo  (biblical, translation and editing). Ed. Raffaelli, Rimini, 2010.
  • Magie Barbare. Ed. Palladino, Campobasso, 2012.
  • Nuova Vandea (with Adernò, Zanin, Baj). Ed. Officine Ultranovecento, Pordenone, 2013.
  • Briganti, Saracca & Archibugio. Ed. Il Ponte Vecchio, Cesena, 2015.
  • La torre. Ed. Il Ponte Vecchio, Cesena, 2016.
  • Lunga vita al Genius Loci. Ed. I Libri da Bruciare, Modena, 2016.
  • Francesca Alinovi, in suo ricordo (con Antonella Colaninno). Ed. Di Felice, Teramo, 2017.


(le più indicative)

  • Del visceralismo. Prov. di Ravenna e Compr. Lughese, mostra itinerante, 1981.
  • Ribelli nella tradizione (con Enrico Calderoni). Sala R. Verde, Faenza, 1982.
  • Dooks (collettiva). Vecchia Dogana del Porto, Marsiglia, 1983.
  • Mito e furia (collettiva). Palazzo del Senato, Milano, 1983.
  • Science verb total et classicisme continuè (collettiva). Gall. Picop e Comunità Europea, Parigi e Bruxelles, 1984.
  • XLI Biennale di Venezia 1984.
  • Faust. Teatro G. Freytag e Case Occupate di Fasanenstrasse. Monaco di Baviera e Berlino, 1985.
  • Apocalisse Identitaria (collettiva). Gall. Cleto Polcina, Roma, 1986.
  • XLII Biennale di Venezia 1986.
  • Waffe. Magazzini del Porto, Amburgo, 1987.
  • Il Principio della libertà (collettiva). Presso le sedi della Fondazione Hirtsch, Boston, New York, Chicago, 1988.
  • GRM - espressione/tradizione/trasgressione. Gall. Gian Ferrari, Milano, 1990.
  • L'Impresa (con Enzo Cucchi). Gall. Modidarte, Ferrara, 1992.
  • Risk ad Atene (collettiva). Rostand Art Center, Atene, 1993.
  • Racconti popolari. Gall. Sumithra, Ravenna, 1993.
  • Bomber. Gall. Michael Werner, Colonia, 1994.
  • Malattia mentale. Saletta Comunale d'Esposizione, Castel San Pietro Terme, 1994.
  • Gian Ruggero Manzoni, opere recenti. Gall. Riposati, Roma,1995.
  • L'evento. Gall. Enrico Astuni, Fano, 1997.
  • Percorsi barbari. Antiche Pescherie, Lugo di Romagna, 1998.
  • Omaggio a GRM. Arte Fiera, Forlì, 1998.
  • Paesaggi Italiani. Gall. Enrico Astuni, Fano, e Tropico del Cancro, Bari, 1999.
  • GRM. Gall. Michael Werner, Colonia, 1999.
  • Guerrieri. Gall. 360°, Montecchio Emilia, 2000.
  • Piloti, aviatori, cosmonauti, motociclisti. Gall. Enrico Astuni, Fano, 2000.
  • Santo manganello-santa falce e martello (con Iller Incerti). Exsalumificio/Gall. Artipici, Modena, 2000.
  • Il patriota esteta. Italian Veterans Association, New York, 2001.
  • Il Giardino dei Semplici. Gall. Gasparelli, Fano, 2001.
  • Il digiuno imposto (con Mimmo Paladino). Museo Nazionale di Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, 2002.
  • Carte recenti. Emeroteca del Museo del Louvre, Parigi, 2004.
  • Resistere fino all’ultimo uomo (con Iller Incerti). Museo del Senio, Alfonsine, 2005.
  • La capitale dell’Impero (con Roberto Cornacchia). Atelier R. Cornacchia, Lugo di Romagna, 2005.
  • La rabbia dei Santi 1. Spazio 9 Artecontemporanea, Faenza, 2006.
  • La rabbia dei Santi 2. Galleria Exhibition Art, Fano, 2006.
  • Gian Ruggero Manzoni. Zentralbibliothek, Zurigo, 2007.
  • Ciao favole, ciao natura. Palazzo dei Congressi, Jesi, 2007.
  • Miracoli. Palazzo del Commercio-Sale Lino Longhi, Lugo di Romagna. 2008.
  • Elogio alla diversità. Gall. Portfolio, Senigallia, 2008.
  • La sindrome di Icaro (collettiva). Borgo Storico Seghetti Panichi, Castel di Lama, 2008.
  • Appartenere (collettiva). Dimore e Chiese Storiche delle città di Imola, Faenza e Lugo di Romagna, 2008.
  • Io divinità - Opere su carta. Bookshop Museo di Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Praga, 2008.
  • Selvatico (collettiva). Palazzo Sforza, Cotignola, 2008.
  • L’ombra della parola. Fondazione Tito Balestra, Longiano, 2008.
  • Di ritorno dalla Bosnia. Galleria Exhibition Art, Fano, 2009.
  • Fango Rumori Zanzare Cookies e Rock in Road. Station Gallery, Tortoreto, 2010.
  • L'Arca di Noè fa il diavolo a quattro (collettiva). Pharmacy Industry Art Venice, Mestre, 2010.
  • Twenty Pounds of Therica. Ex Convento SS.Cosma e Damiano, Venezia, 2011.
  • Fine corso (collettiva). Espace Polychrome. Namur, Belgio, 2011.
  • UBU sotto tutti gli aspetti, Lato & Figurato (collettiva). Palazzina Azzurra. S.Benedetto del Tronto, 2012.
  • Apokalips (collettiva). Grattacielo Pirelli - Palazzo della Region Milano, 2012.
  • Magie Barbare. A x A Palladino Company. Campobasso, 2012.
  • Opere sacre di sabotaggio. Pescherie della Rocca. Lugo di Romagna, 2013.
  • Corrispondenze (collettiva). Loggetta del Trentanove. Faenza, 2014.
  • PescaraArt (collettiva). Loft Box&Office. Pescara, 2014.
  • Pagine ad arte. Biblioteca "Maria Goia". Cervia, 2014.
  • Gian Ruggero Manzoni. Museo d'Arte Moderna "Vittorio Colonna". Pescara, 2015.
  • V International Forum - Creative Life (collettiva). Bolognano di Pescara, 2015.
  • Propositum Artis (collettiva itinerante). Ancona, Ascoli Piceno, Gubbio, Macerata, L'Aquila. 2016.
  • Le mutevoli forme. Bottega Gollini Arte Contemporanea, Imola, 2016.
  • Artisti in permanenza (collettiva). Gall. Il Melograno, Livorno, 2016.
  • Artistes Italiens Sur l'Affichage (collettiva). Chambre de Commerce Italianne pour la France, Marsiglia, 2016.
  • Eroi barbari. Galleria Il Vicolo, Cesena, 2016.
  • II Biennale d'Arte della Croazia. Museo Città di Labin, 2016.
  • L'equilibrio del guerriero. Fortezza di Radicofani - Siena, 2016.
  • Parallelle Oplevelser (collettiva). Copenhagen Contemporary Gallery - Copenhagen, 2017.
  • Parallel experiences (collettiva). Red October Gallery - Mosca, 2017.
  • Parallele Erfahrungen (collettiva). Easy! Upstream - Monaco di Baviera, 2017.
  • Multiverso. Studio Marco Carminati - Milano, 2017.
  • Esercizi dello sguardo (collettiva). Centro Culturale Mercato - Argenta (FE), 2018.
  • Gian Ruggero Manzoni & Friends (collettiva). Arsenale Franz Joseph - Verona, 2018.


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