Marco Gastini was born in Turin in 1938. His training began at the laboratory of his father, a marble-worker, where he acquired familiarity with techniques and processing materials. In the Piedmontese capital begins its exhibition path starting from the need to overcome late-informal stagnation, to arrive, at first, to the definition of a painting made of minimal traces and gestures, close to the territories practiced by contemporary minimal art, and subsequently by analytical painting; and then arrive, in the mid-1970s, at a vision that can no longer be classified within the codified trends of the moment.
In 1966 he began teaching at the Liceo Artistico, which he then banned in 1985. In the years 1967-1968 he made spray-painted paintings, glimpses of continuous vital flows above the neutral surface of the canvas, which he exhibited at Galleria II Punto in Turin in 1968. The following year he exhibited at the Salone Annunciata in Milan in an exhibition of eminently spatial value, where pictorial interventions are centered on flows of brushstrokes lying on transparent plexiglas slabs and cylinders, understood therefore as traces and shapes in space.
At the beginning of the 1970s there was the further, more radical turning point, for the use of materials that seem to distance it from painting but which in reality distinguish a new way of meaning it. The problematicness and close relationship of painting with space, both mental and physical, has since become a constant of his language. Of this period are the first lead and antimonio mergers on the wall, presented already in 1970 in Modena in the exhibition Arte e Critica '70. In 1976 Olle Granath invited him among the artists gathered at the Venice Biennale in the section Attualità internazionali '72-76. After his 1975 solo show at the Cirrus Gallery in Los Angeles, in 1977 he was at the John Weber Gallery in New York with the exhibition Project (44 units), a series of 44 images of fourteen different sizes, drawn charcoal and painted with Pearl White, a pigment containing mother-of-pearl. After his solo show at Studio Grossetti in Milan in 1978, the following year he was again in New York by John Weber with two exhibitions centered on works made directly on the wall. In his work, the notions of space, energy, tension, involvement, attraction and revulsion towards the context in which the works are placed are always primary and essential.
After a long season devoid of timbre notes, centered on whites, blacks, graffiti on transparent surfaces, the use of color together with the most diverse materials, also chosen for their chromatic value: from woods to stones, from parchment to iron, from plaster to terracotta, now takes over powerfully. At the beginning of the 1980s Marco Gastini embarked on a dense exhibition path punctuated by personal events at the Lenbachhaus in Munich in 1982, at the Galleria Civica in Modena in 1983, at the PAC in Milan in 1984 by Paolo Fossati, a critic who from the beginning was the main interpreter of his work, author in 1988 of the monograph published for the Edizioni Essegi.
In 1992 the one-man show at the Galleria d'Arte Moderna in Bologna, in Villa delle Rose, and the following year at the Galleria Civica in Trento, followed. Also in 1993 it was the great anthological exhibition at the Kunstverein - Steinernes Haus am Römerberg in Frankfurt, then transferred to the Kunstmuseum St. Gallen. As already in 1987 in Castel Burio, in the province of Asti, and in San Gimignano in 1988, where the works come out outside invading the architectural and urban space, in 1997 in Siena Gastini is invited to relocate in the squares or under the loggias of the city installations that dialogue with history, the art of the place. Respiro, aria, luce / der Atem, die Luft, das Licht become significantly the title of the show with which the artist appears at the Orangerie im Schlosspark Belvedere in Weimar in the summer of 1998, in a one-man show dominated by Partitura per otto tempi, imposing installation over eighteen meters long, composed of a dense sequence of canvases, glasses, plaster-treated tops, joined transversely by wire-shaped iron tracks.
In 2001 in his hometown, Turin, he was dedicated a rich anthology curated by Pier Giovanni Castagnoli at the Galleria d’Arte Moderna in the spaces of the Promotrice, then transferred to the Lenbachhaus in Munich. In the autumn of 2005 in the exhibition Echi curated by Bruno Corà and Werner Meyer, Gastini gathered at the Kunsthalle in Göppingen a selection of works documenting his research from the 80s until the most recent. In 2009 is Nel volo… attorno was the one-man show curated by Pier Giovanni Castagnoli at Galleria dello Scudo in Verona. Other one-man shows were in 2011 at Walter Storms Galerie in Munich and, the following year, at the Accademia delle Belle Arti di Brera in Milan. In 2013 the one-man show at MAMbo in Bologna and the following year at the Pecci and Spazio Borgogno Museum in Milan followed. Marco Gastini died in Turin in 2018.