Piero Lerda was born in Caraglio (Cuneo) on April 29, 1927. He was, as a teenager, the pupil of a painter who lived in Caraglio during WWII, Vincenzo Alicandri ( from Abruzzo, Italy) where he learnt the secrets of the use of diversified media .
Piero Lerda received an elementary school teaching certificate and a school of Art diploma in Torino (Accademia Albertina di belle Arti). In 1953 he became doctor in Foreign Languages at the University of Torino, after two years spent in Nice (France) where he was instructor of Italian language and where he prepared his Master Thesis on Georges Bernanos, whose issues and dilemmas of the fight between good and evil in human life influenced the thoughts and the art of Piero Lerda through his life. (Title of the Thesis “La condition humaine dans les romans de Bernanos”). While in Nice (1951-1953) Lerda was co-founder of the prestigious Club des Jeunes, whose honorary members were intellectuals of the standing of Cocteau, Prévert, Médecines.
In Nice Lerda was a lecturer ( mainly on issues of vanguard visual arts, and primitive arts, from the Lascaux caverns graffiti to contemporary African sculpture), and started his production of drawings and mixed media of Indian ink and wax, on paper, still under the influence of Picasso and of the abstract art of those years.
Later he became a prominent promoter of culture in Torino, where he worked at the Radio and Television as a member of the program Orizzonti (TV) and as a script writer of fairy-tales and fiction for children programs. From 1957 through 1963 Piero Lerda became the director of the United States Information Service (USIS) library in Torino, a role that allowed him to become acquainted with the American art vanguards, and the official lecturer of USIS on American visual arts. When the USIS Library was closed, he became Professor of French language in Torino from 1963 to his retirement.
The studios of the newly started television and the blinding lights of the screens inspired the art of Piero Lerda who created sophisticated drawings and paintings where the human beings are annihilated by the growing mass media impact.
Flash lightings create an atmosphere of suspense where human beings become little figures at the bottom of the canvas or of the page, in a dazzling and deceiving vision. Men become “screen men” in the artificial white, cold and metaphysical light.
The first “solo man” exhibit of 1962 showed this kind of art, and it was very well received by the critics ( Art Gallery L’Immagine- Torino, directed by Antonio Carena ).
After a life long research carried on by Piero Lerda on the issues of caos , and of metaphysical playfulness, Peiro Lerda died on November 14, 2007. He did not want to engage his energies in organizing other exhibits, although his first one was a real success, and choose to continue his painting as a solitary adventure. He wrote in one of his notes: “Art is a daily training to reach liberty”.
On February 28 2009 The Marcovaldo Association of Caraglio opened the large exhibit with 125 paintings from 1948 to 2007 “Dal Caso al gioco”, an event that summarizes his most important topics, from the “men and flashes” of the 1960s to the “carousel cities”, the kites and the metamorphoses of landscapes and cities, either invented as in a children play, or reflected in soap bubbles. A visionary world, where the artist has imagined to organize Chaos and to re-design, in extraordinarily colourful images and mixed media techniques, the conflicts of human existence. His kites fly in the skies of the “merry-go-round cities”, between the real world and human dreams.
Caraglio, 29 aprile 1927 -Torino, 14 novembre 2007