Paolo Serra was born in Morciano di Romagna in 1946. His father was a shoe designer, who worked out of a small shop in the centre of Rimini. In 1955, Serra moved with his parents to Northampton in England, where he lived for twenty-seven years.
Thanks to an elementary school teacher, he began to learn about and to appreciate Italian art, in particular that of the Trecento. From a very young age, he was attracted by museums and galleries, with two exhibitions making a particular impression upon him: Picasso at London’s Tate Gallery in 1960 and Art Alive, an exhibition of European contemporary art held in Northampton the following year.
His monochromatic and dichromatic paintings explore two dimensional textures, essentialism and surface tensions. His inspirations are as varied as Old Master portrait artists such as Rembrandt and Modern abstractionists such as Mondrian and Malevich. His work has been extensively exhibited in Europe, and is in the permanent collections of: The Arts Council of Great Britain; The Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; The Rembrandt Society; the National Bank of the Netherlands; UBS AG and Museum der Stadt Waiblingen. He has also contributed work to the English Pavilion of the 12th São Paulo Biennial, and had a monograph published by Gi Ori about his practice.