Achille Bonito Oliva (Caggiano, 1939) is an Italian art critic, academic and essayist.
After having obtained the classical high school diploma in 1961, he graduated in law at the University of Naples
“Federico II”. Later he enrolled in the Faculty of Arts and matured his initial vocation: poetry.
Among other things, he participated in the research of Gruppo 63 with his first books of poetry:
Made in Mater of 1967 and Fiction Poems of 1968. In 1970 he organized the exhibition Vitality of the negative
in Rome, in which he hosted well-known artists in the poor art like Jannis Kounellis and Michelangelo Pistoletto.
It will be precisely this exhibition to give life to a profound comparison between these artists with the past
of Italian art and culture. In 1980 he wrote the opera La Transavanguardia italiana founding the Transavanguardia,
an art movement of the same name. His idea of the art critic is innovative: he proposes a “creative model”
of criticism. The critic is no longer a supporter of a single poetic and mediator between artist and audience,
but must act as a “hunter”. In 1981, for the magazine Frigidaire, he was photographed naked on a flowered sofa,
which he repeated in 1989 and 2011, meaning that “the critic must place himself naked in front of art,
stripped of any ideological dress, of any pre / judgment “. This fact will then be mentioned by
Giorgio Gaber in the show Crowded years always in 1981. He has lived in Rome since 1968,
where he begins his career as an art critic and teaches History of Contemporary Art at the
Faculty of Architecture of the La Sapienza University. In 1993 he was the curator of the Venice Biennale.
In 2008 he signed the appeal to vote for the Rainbow Left.   In 2014 he conducted Fuori quadro on Rai 3.