Mario Surbone was born in Treville Monferrato on September 8 th , 1932. His artistic training was first completed at the Turin Art School and then at the Albertina Academy where he was a pupil of Felice Casorati. He made his debut in 1958 at the "National Youth Art Exhibition" in Rome and, between the late 1950s and early 1960s, spent a long and fruitful stay in Paris where he further pursued his studies. His first solo exhibit was staged in 1962 at Il Canale gallery in Venice. His research at the time, which began in the climate of French informal painting, tended towards an increasingly rarefied and abstract definition of the image until it geometrized the figure, human or object, with a strong reduction in outline. From 1968, after having experimented with the use of different materials, he explored the expressive possibilities of monochrome on cardboard or metal surfaces which were "engraved" and modulated following rigorously geometric compositional structures. After this "Incisi" cycle which ended in 1978, he proceeded to pictorial interventions on shaped supports, upsetting the ordinary logic of space and emphasizing the delicate effect of color and its trace on the surface not confined within the usual limits of the painting. The new works rise from a renewed relationship with nature which continues to this day. They are studied both from a formal and a symbolic point of view as well as through a deconstructive and reconstructive analysis of the figural image.
Critics have always been very receptive towards Mario Surbone's work. The artist has been involved in numerous and important group exhibitions in Italy and abroad. Articles and reviews by authoritative critics and art historians have accompanied his career from the beginning, capturing and promptly communicating the fundamental characteristic elements of his poetic work. The story by Francesco De Bartolomeis, "Mario Surbone" (art edition Fratelli Pozzo, Turin), dated 1996, critically outlines the artist's itinerary from his formative years to full maturity. In 2007, the Province of Turin organized an important retrospective exhibit at the Sala Bolaffi in Turin which was accompanied by an exhaustive catalog also curated by Francesco De Bartolomeis. In 2009, an exhibition held at the Galleria del Collegio Cairoli of the University of Pavia (curated by Fabrizio Parachini) is dedicated for the first time to the period of his "Incisi" exclusively from 1968-1978. The gallery owner, Franco Soffiantino, decided to promote two exhibits in 2016 and to create an extensive catalog of these works which was published in 2017 from Allemandi, Turin, edited by Elena Pontiggia (Mario Surbone. Engraved 1968-1978). The exhibits took place at the Bocconi University of Milan and the Fondazione Stelline, also in Milan. Mario Surbone lives and works in Turin and Treville Monferrato (Alessandria).