Born in Bresso, Italy, in 1938. He lives and works in Milan. Antonio Recalcati trains as an apprentice in lithography in a printing house from 1953 to 1957. He starts painting as an autodidact in 1955. His first individual exhibition takes place in Milan in 1957. He is considered a member of the Figuration Narrative movement.
In an early period, Antonio Recalcati paints informal canvases that evoke landscapes (Vision Marine, 1957). Later, he approaches figuration; confinement, death and alienation are frequent subjects in his work. In 1960 he creates the series Empreintes, imprints of bodies and dresses. These imprints are, in fact, self portraits: he covers himself with paint and presses his body unto the canvas. In 1963, together with Gilles Aillaud and Eduardo Arroyo, he begins composing manifesto-canvases: “pro-painting/anti Marcel Duchamp”. He uses his paintings as a means of protest. To him: “the painter has to bother: to spread concern and doubt. He participates in the Habana Mural, an immense collective painting done in Cuba in 1967. He works on the series: New York City, Intérieurs Américains, Guillotines, Charcuteries, etc. He paints “useless landscapes”. In 1975 he begins creating theater costumes and sets. In 1985 he starts working on a series of hyperrealist canvases (landscapes and basketball players). In the 90’s he consecrates himself to sculpture and creates pieces with Carrara marble, terracotta and ceramics. At the end of the 90’s “he returns to the beginning in search of an alphabet” and paints his trips (La mer à Essaouira, 1996) or interiors (Les Questions du peintre or Charon series).