Sidival Fila was born in 1962 in the southern state of Paraná, Brazil, a region known for its famous Iguazu Falls and as being one of the first lands intensively deforested for coffee and soybean cultures. After traveling to study art in Europe, Fila moved to Rome at the age of 25 and interrupted his artistic career for 18 years so as to devote himself to a spiritual life. He joined the Order of Friars Minor of St. Francis of Assisi, for whom he served as a chaplain for a long time in hospitals and prisons throughout Italy. He finally returned to his artistic practice in 2006, when he established his studio in the Franciscan monastery of San Bonaventura al Palatino, where he now serves as minister general.
Multiplying important exhibitions in Italy with a first solo show at the Museo Bilotti of the Villa Borghese in Rome (2015), Sidival Fila soon became quite famous in Europe. In 2016, French curator Dominique Païni organized an exhibition around Sidival Fila for the Centre national d’art contemporain du Fresnoy (France), contextualizing his work with Dan Flavin, Sol Lewitt, François Morellet, Sheila Hicks, etc.
In 2018, the Palazzo Ducale di Sassuolo provided him with a solo exhibition, bringing his work into dialogue with the monochrome collection of Panza di Biumo (2018). In the same year, the critic and art historian Elisa Coletta published his first monograph (Silvana Editoriale). In 2019 he produced a large polyptych, Golgotha, for the 58th Venice Biennale. He also exhibited at Palazzo Merulana in Rome and at Art Basel Miami Beach where he benefitted from a solo show with the gallery.
Several art critics, writers or movie makers have studied his work, amongst others Bruno Racine, Alain Fleischer, Daniel Dobbels or Dominique Païni. This latter postions Fila’s practice as an intersection between the Spatialism of Manzoni, Castelani or Fontana and the obssesive sewing and weaving work of Sheila Hicks. It can also be related to Ernesto Neto and Tomas Saraceno’s contemporary representation of the link and the network, the conjuring of rituals and chamanic actions, or totally religious, in the etymologic meaning of it, re-ligere, which means to connect.
Sidival Fila began his collaboration with Jérôme Poggi in 2017, who hosted the artist’s first solo exhibition in France, in dialogue with the presentation of one of his works at the Parisian church of Saint Eustache.