At that time, the city was enjoying a period of great transformation; the international importance of the renowned cultural centres such as the Biennale and the “Giorgio Cini” Foundation on the island of San Giorgio, which periodically held major events, attracted the greatest protagonists in the world of philosophy, science, literature, music and the arts. Exhibitions, conventions, debates offered knowledge of crucial modernism, throwing open unforeseen horizons for a young man, like him, eager to learn and to measure himself against the projects and the expectations of his generation. In his paintings he attempts to blend figurative elements and geometric solutions, associating immediate stimuli taken from reality with formal neo-constructivist analysis.
In the meantime, he took part in various exhibitions and was a candidate for the Premio San Floriano in Gorizia. In 1967 he held his first personal exhibition in Folgaria, a renowned mountain resort near Trento, and at the end of the same year he opened an art gallery in the town, called Nuovo Spazio [new space], perhaps to confirm his personal propensity for pictorial problems referred to the expressive values of a new concept of spatialism.
He became friends with the Venetian performers of post-dodecaphonic music and with the painters of the “Movimento dello Spazialismo” [the Spatialism Movement] of Lucio Fontana. He strengthened his relationship with the poet Alfonso Gatto, inviting him to hold conferences and readings at his Gallery and promoting with him the “Premio Folgaria”, a national competition for poetry and painting. As a gallery owner, he undertook various activities, group exhibitions and personal exhibitions by various artists of the new vanguards, but he also organised and hosted debates and readings of poetic texts.
In 1969 he was invited to a collective exhibition first in Venice and then in Rome and a few months later he presented a personal exhibition in Udine. The historian Pietro Zampetti, director of the Musei Civici Veneziani [Venetian Civic Museums], invited him to hold a personal exhibition at the Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa Gallery, but it would not be possible to organize this exhibition because the artist was called up for national service at the military engineering school La Cecchignola in Rome, where he created a series of terracotta plaques (twelve panels) illustrating the work of the ‘fabriceris’.
The activity that he continued to promote through exhibitions at the Folgaria Gallery developed a cultural programme designed not only to revalue the members of historical Italian spearhead movement, but also to promote the most promising talents of the new generations. Of particular note, thanks to his importance nationally, were the exhibitions of the futurist Giovanni Korompay and the first personal exhibition of Federica Bertino . With renewed enthusiasm he took an interest in the singular pictorial and graphic experiences of Giuseppe Zigaina for whom he would also organise a number of exhibitions in various Italian cities. In 1971, when he had concluded his national service, he returned to Venice, bringing to life the new premises of the Nuovo Spazio gallery which immediately distinguished itself for its innovative proposals, opening its halls to masters such as Guidi, Manzù, Spacal, Morlotti, Santomaso, Music, Bortoluzzi and to young artists destined for success, Finzi, Licata and the very young Plessi. At this time, his own artistic research was increasingly more decidedly directed towards abstract spatial poetry and completely abandoned a naturalistic line of transfiguration.
He met and frequented the photographic historian from Friuli, Italo Zannier, called to teach at the University of Architecture. After a few years, the Nuovo Spazio gallery assumed for Venice, a city which could boast prestigious historical precedents, an important, individual role, regularly visited by renowned writers and critics, from Pallucchini to Marchiori, from Apollonio to Mazzariol, and periodically even visited by Ezra Pound. The Gallery also hosted works by members of the “Programmed Art” and the “behaviourism”, as well as new tendencies in women’s creative research.
In 1976 Friuli was devastated by a severe earthquake. Fortunately, his family was not directly harmed by the effects of the seismic activity. He remained some days visiting the worst hit areas – often difficult to reach – with his architect brother, registering the damage and reporting on the need for technicians to take charge of the reconstruction. At Mariano del Friuli he organised an exhibition of works by great Italian artists, devolving the income from sales in favour of the victims of the earthquake.
He set up a special travelling exhibition of artists that would later sail on the tourist ship the Stradivari as it visited various Mediterranean ports. He organised the important personal exhibition by Armando Pizzinato. In 1979 he transferred the Nuovo Spazio gallery to a building in the centre of the city, just a short step from St. Mark’s Square, thus being able to take advantage of much larger spaces which, in March, were splendidly inaugurated with the extraordinary personal exhibition dedicated to Giovanni Korompay.
He also continued the literary events, acting as host to writers and poets; he worked with Arnaldo Momo and Giovanni Poli for theatrical events. In May 1978 he married the daughter of the well-known writer and journalist Mario Ancona. In July, he returned to Venice to present an important exhibition by Luigi Veronesi, protagonist of the Italian abstract movement, which would encounter considerable success, also in the pages of the international press. In November, the exhibition of “aeropainting” and “stone syntheses” by the futurist Tullio Crali. For the first time in Europe he showed a collection of works by Inuit sculptors, with whom he had come into contact, receiving on this unusual occasion honours from a group of Quebec diplomats who arrived for the inauguration.