Born in 1954 in Montecchio Emilia, where he continues to live and work, Omar Galliani graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna and teaches painting at the Brera Academy of Fine Arts in Milan.
In 1978 Enrico Crispolti included his work in the Premio Michetti in Francavilla al Mare with the installation Ritratto di dama con unicorno. In 1979 he was invited by Luciano Francalanci to represent Italy at the 1st International Triennial of Drawing at the Kunsthalle, Nuremberg, where he received the Faber Castell Award. In the same year Demetrio Paparoni engaged him to create a site-specific installation, La dea levò la fronte at the ancient Fountain of Arethusa and the Museo Archeologico of Siracusa. He was invited to Le alternative del nuovo by Giovanni M. Accame, held at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome. Also in 1979, Flavio Caroli included his work in Il nuovo contesto at Studio Marconi in Milan, in 1980 in Nuova immagine at the 16th Milan Triennale, in Magico primario at the Palazzo dei Diamanti in Ferrara, and in 1981 in Enciclopedia. Il magico primario in Europa at the Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna in Modena. He also participated in Arte e critica 1980 at the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna in Rome, curated by Giorgio De Marchis and Ida Panicelli and presented by Giovanni M. Accame. In 1981 he was invited by a Scientific Committee coordinated by Nello Ponente to show work in Linee della ricerca artistica in Italia 1960/1980; in 1982 he took part in Generazioni a confronto. Omaggio a Nello Ponente at the Università La Sapienza in Rome, curated by Simonetta Lux, and in Art and Critics at Marshall Field’s of Chicago, curated by Ida Panicelli.
He has participated in three editions of the Venice Biennale: in 1982 in Aperto ’82, curated by Tommaso Trini; in 1984, with his own room in the section Arte allo specchio, curated by Maurizio Calvesi; and in 1986, in Arte e alchimia, curated by Arturo Schwarz. In 1982 he was invited to show work in the Italian Pavilion at the Biennales of Sao Paulo and Paris, both curated by Bruno Mantura. His work was shown in Tokyo for Cento anni d’arte italiana moderna 1880-1980, curated by Giorgio De Marchis, and subsequently in the contemporary art museums of Kyoto, Nagasaki and Hiroshima, as well as at the 7th British International Print Biennale in Bradford, curated by Robert Hopper. Subsequently, he took part in Arte italiana 1960-1982 at the Hayward Gallery, London, curated by a scientific committee composed of Renato Barilli, Flavio Caroli and Roberto Sanesi, and in two editions of the Rome Quadrenniale (1986 and 1996), at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni and the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna. In 1985 he exhibited in contemporary art museums in Frankfurt, Berlin, Hannover and Vienna as part of 1960-1985 Aspekte der Italienischen Kunst, curated by Peter Weiermair.