Riccardo Guarneri was born in 1933 in Florence, where he still lives and works. He starts to paint in his early twenties. At the same time he develops a career as a musician. He plays jazz and classical guitar, performing with orchestras of pop music in Italy and abroad.
Guarneri starts with Figuration but soon enough he switches towards the Informality movement. About his style evolution Guarneri said in 2004, in an interview for the catalogue of his retrospective at Palazzo Pitti: ‘…1958 arrived and painting became more important, more serious. I was still fumbling. Between 1958 and 1959 I went to The Hague for a series of concerts. There, I felt in love with Rembrandt’s late self-portraits. They appeared to me as the essence of Informality. On night-dark backgrounds unfolded bright signs, bolts of lighting, golden blazes. I started to draw inspiration from Rembrandt in my informal paintings and nobody noticed it! I was already feeling that the light should be at the centre of my work but I couldn’t give up on the matter yet, I was thinking about Wols and Alechinskij. I then realized that the Cobras were too intense and violent so I lost myself in the purity of Licini and in the lyricism of Klee. When I came back to Florence, I discovered that Fiamma Vigo had opened a new space where abstract painters and young adventurous artists could meet’. From these encounters was created Baldi – Fallani – Guarneri – Masi – Verna. Cinque informali a Firenze. The exhibition takes place in 1959, and the artworks presented by Guarneri are still representative of the Informal style.