Enea Toldo (Switzerland, 1988) is a self-taught painter based in Milan, Italy, who paints on canvas or wooden panels he plasters with a mixture of raw earth, sand and straw. These backgrounds respond to precise environmental reflections, his practice revolves around the use of natural and low-impact materials. In his paintings, he addresses current urgent issues like waste disposal, animal and plant extinction and the rising sea levels. He moved to painterly research in 2019 after learning to plaster with natural materials while renovating the farmhouse he was living in. Prior to painting, he had a decade-long career in graphic design. In 2024 he had a solo show at Villa Clea in Milan, Italy and at Condominio in Milan, Italy and participated in the group show wtf - we tolerate failure at Spazio In Situ in Rome. In 2023 he participated in the group shows 室内景观 (Paysages Intérieurs) at La Rada in Locarno, Switzerland, La Regionale at Villa Ciani in Lugano, and a residency program at Savvala in Drusti, Latvia. In 2022 he was awarded the ExtrArtis Art Prize, being selected at ReA! Art Fair at Fabbrica del Vapore in Milan, Italy.

T. +39 340 855 8275

[design studio website]

[PDF Portfolio (8,9 mb)]

Solo Exhibitions
2024 Torbido, curated by Allina, Villa Clea, Milan
2024 Saluti dalle terre di domani, curated by Caterina Angelucci and Andrea Elia Zanini, Condominio, Milan
2022 I'd be more dirty if I could, text by Simona Squadrito, Un villaggio differente, Milan

Selected Group Exhibitions
2024 wtf - we tolerate failure, curated by Alessandra Cecchini, Spazio In Situ, Rome
2024 7 seeds - communication under trees, curated by Michael Kress, Zou-no-hana Terrace/8th Yokohama Triennale, Yokohama
2023 La Regionale 23, curated by ACXSI (Daniele Agostini, Giada Olivotto, Sibilla Panzeri, Sébastien Peter), Villa Ciani, Lugano
2023 Play_ACT, curated by Giovanni Menna, Palazzo Gravina, Naples
2023 室内景观 (Paysages Intérieurs), curated by Yimei Zhang and Neda Zanetti, La Rada, Locarno
2022 ReA! Art Fair, curated by Milena Zanetti, Fabbrica del Vapore, Milan
2021 BLUESHOUSE, curated by Giada Olivotto, BluesHouse, Milan
2021 Ecosistemi, curated by Eleonora de Biasi and Irene Crosta, Alle Ortiche, Serre San Nicola, Genoa
2021 Costellazioni, Galleria espositiva El Bagnin De Gorla, Milan
2019 Fuori Fuorisalone, Spazio 1B, Lugano
2017–2018 The Most Beautiful Swiss Books, Zurich/Rhode Island (USA)/San José (Costa Rica)/London/Paris/Copenhagen/Oslo/Vienna/Brussels
2016 SWISS STYLE NOW, 41 Cooper Gallery, New York*
2011 Nel segno inciso, Museo Vincenzo Vela, Ligornetto

Awards/Public collections
2024 Public collection, Collezione d’Arte del Canton Ticino
2022 ExtraArtis Art Prize 2022, ReA! Art Fair

Publications and Texts
, by Allina, 17/5/2024
Kubaparis, 17/5/2024
Saluti dalle terre di domani (Italian), by Caterina Angelucci, 21/3/2024
Art Maze Magazine Double Issue 32-33
, 2023
Opera Magazine Issue 11, by Raffaella Ferraro, 30/6/2023
I'd be more dirty if I could
(Italian), by Simona Squadrito, 29/10/2022
ReA! Art Fair 2022 catalog, by Milena Zanetti, 13/10/2022
NOIA Magazine Issue 2
, 29/5/2022

2024 Villa Clea, Milan
2024 Viafarini, Milan
2023 Nomadic residency project, Savvala (Latvia)
2023 ExtrArtis Artists Residencies for Creative Economy, Relais La Rupe, Sorrento

2022 Getting It Across: Communicating Your Art Practice, ACT Programme
2008 Studied Graphic Design at Centro Scolastico per le Industrie Artistiche, Lugano

Artist statement
I work with raw earth-based plasters, an artisanal technique used in natural building, onto which I work using oil and watercolour paint. Some of my paints are ground-up earth mixed with linseed oil, every stroke applied by brush or thorn I apply, is spaced from the previous stroke, to allow the image porosity and to avoid hierarchy within the materials. Similarly, using low-impact and locally foraged materials like volcanic sand, they bring their own chromatic or light reflection, traces of heat and depth — the work reverberates a relation to the environment.

If I were a prehistoric plant, maybe I could grow spines’ suggests the thoughts on mutation that run through my practice. Prehistoric plants have survived millions of years, able to adapt to the harshest climate changes, seeing them stand around in pots, I wonder if they now use human beings to propagate.
Places I visited in Malaysia ought to be submerged by 2050, according to current calculations. Using local sand rather than straw, with flowers, grasses, and leaves; I mimicked an uncertain future in the material fragility of the paintings.

Though I have a slightly sarcastic undertone towards humanity, the works are colourful and bright and look like they could grow, a clash between what I think and what happens during painting. The work starts with ways of relating to natural environment and its uncertain futures. It is imagery as seen from the point between one’s eyebrows; amidst, but off-center.

© Enea Toldo, 2023

TORBIDO, Villa Clea, 2024

I grew so thorny you can't have me, 2024

Se fossi una pianta preistorica mi farei crescere le spine II, 2024

The last part of a sunset, 2022-23


They use us, 2023

Expressing fragility is as important as expressing strength, 2023

Eighteen post cards, 2023

Rifugio dall'umanità 3/1/2, 2023

Il frutto, 2023

Vortice, 2023

Se fossi una pianta preistorica mi farei crescere le spine, 2023

Al fiume quando ero fragile/Letto di sassi, 2022

Untitled petrol devil 20, 2023

The two headed and the two tailed snake, 2022

Fruits, plastic, fire, 2022

All'infinito ci mordiamo, 2022


Luce blu arancia, microdosi, alghe portate dal fiume, letto di sassi, 2022

Flavia, Giovanni, Sara, Francesco, Marta, 2021-2022

Petrol Devil V, 2022

Untitled (Totentanz study), 2021

La grande moria, 2021

Totentanz II, 2022

Totentanz, 2022

Untitled Cacti (per te), 2022

Oh, this one looks like an apple too, 2021

Oh, it looks like an apple, 2021

La tecnica è solo un mezzo per esprimere la vita interiore/Untitled Cacti 4, 2021

Untitled Cacti 2, 2021

Untitled (Cacti), 2021