Born in Florence in 1933, he began to paint simultaneously with a musical activity that saw him perform with light music orchestras in Italy and abroad, playing classical guitar and jazz. After the first figurative paintings he approached the informal. In 1959 he took part in the exhibition “Baldi – Fallani – Guarneri – Masi – Verna. Five informal in Florence. Always in 1959. The first solo exhibition was at the Galerie de Posthoorn in The Hague in 1960, the year in which Guarneri was also at “Abstracte Italiensee Kunst” in Ostend and at “Modern Paintings of Italy” at the Rose Marie Gallerie in Taipei, while in 1961 he had a solo exhibition with Claudio Verna at the Galleria L’Indiano in Florence and in 1962 at the Galleria San Matteo in Genoa. In 1962 Guarneri began to take an interest in colour as light, in handwriting as painting and in the problems inherent in visual perception. From this moment on, sign, light and colour are identified, giving substance to a poetic world of acute sensitivity and constituting, even in its various phases, the leitmotif of a decidedly personal research. 1963 he exhibited with a solo exhibition at La Strozzina di Palazzo strozzi. In 1966 he took part in the XXXIII Venice Biennale (where he shared the room with Agostino Bonalumi and Paolo Scheggi) and in the exhibition “Weiss auf Weiss” at the Kunstalle in Bern, while in 1967 he participated in the V Biennale in Paris and in the exhibitions of “New Trend”.
Among the most prestigious exhibitions are the participation in the Rome Quadrennials of 1973 and 1986, the Milan Biennials of 1974, 1983 and 1994, and the historical exhibitions on Italian art: “Linee della ricerca artistica in Italia 1960-1980” at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome in 1981; “Astratto-Secessioni astratte in Italia dai dopoguerra al 1990” at the Galleria Civica in Verona in 1990; “Presenze delle avanguardie a Firenze dal ’47 ad oggi” at the Centro d’Arte Spaziotempo in Florence in 1991; “Arte in Italia 1956/1968” at the Museo Civico in Conegliano Veneto in 1995; “Die andere Richtung der Kunsf. Abstrakte Kunst Italiens ’60/’90” at the Kunsthalle in Cologne in 1997; “Pittura Analitica anni ’70” at the Palazzo della Permanente in Milan in 2007; “Pittura Aniconica” at the Casa del Mantegna in Mantua in 2008; “Forme d’arte in Italia” at the Rotonda della Besana in Milan in 2010 and “Percorsi dell’arte italiana” at the Vaf-Stiftung, Mart in Trento and Rovereto in 2011. In 2000 he realized the project for the mosaic of twenty-four square meters of the station Lucio Sestio of the underground in Rome and in 2004 at the Gallery of Modern Art of Palazzo Pitti in Florence was held his first retrospective exhibition. In 2015 in Parma the Clivio Gallery dedicated to the artist the exhibition: “Works on paper 1964 – 1982” and then in 2016 in Milan the exhibition: “Works 1974 – 2015”. In 2017 he took part in the 57th Venice Biennale. Still today Riccardo Guarneri lives and works in Florence and is an undisputed master of abstract art and one of the leading exponents of Analytical Painting.