Omar Galliani was born in Montecchio Emilia in 1954.
After graduating from the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna and the conceptual experiences of the seventies, in 1977 the G7 Gallery of Ginevra Grigolo, Bologna, presented his first solo show, Representation of a representation, curated by Giovanni Maria Accame. At the beginning of the eighties he was one of the leading exponents of the Anachronists group theorized by Maurizio Calvesi and of the Magico Primario founded by Flavio Caroli with the exhibitions New Image at the Milan Triennale, 1980, at the Palazzo dei Diamanti in Ferrara, 1980, at Civic Gallery of Modern Art of Modena, 1981.
He later participated in Italian Art 1960-1982 at the Hayward Gallery in London, curated by a scientific committee composed of Renato Barilli, Flavio Caroli and Roberto Sanesi. He participates in three editions of the Venice Biennale: in 1982 in Aperto '82 edited by Tommaso Trini, in 1984 with a personal room in the section Mirror Art curated by Maurizio Calvesi and Marisa Vescovo, in 1986 in Arte e Alchimia curated by Arturo Schwarz. In 1985 he presented in New York, Knight of Ellipses, in the Arnold Herstand Gallery and participated in the Biennials of São Paulo 1981, Paris and Tokyo in 1982, and two editions of the Rome Quadriennale 1986, 1996.
In 1985 he exhibited in the Museums of Contemporary Art in Frankfurt, Berlin, Hanover and Vienna on the occasion of 1960-1985 Aspekte der Italienischen Kunst curated by Peter Weiermair. In 1991 Pierre Restany and Italo Tomassoni invited Omar Galliani to the Civic Museums of Reggio Emilia. In 1991 in Perugia in the Rocca Paolina presents Triangolo 1983/1991, an exhibition curated by Italo Tomassoni and Bruno Corà. In 1993 Achille Bonito Oliva invited him to All roads lead to Rome, Palazzo delle Esposizioni. In 1996 Faces, at the Marian Locks Gallery in Philadelphia curated by Antony Iannacci.
In 2003 he was invited to the Prague Biennale, curators Giancarlo Politi, Elena Kontova and Tomás Vlcek. Invited to the Beijing Biennial, he won the first prize with the work Short History of Time. In 2000, at the invitation of the Museum of the Central Academy of Fine Art in Beijing and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Rome, he made his first solo show in China, Cosmogonie. In 2006-2007, Omar Galliani between East and West, an exhibition tour in the main Contemporary Art Museums of China. He also exhibited at the Querini Stampalia Foundation, Between East and West, the great Italian drawing in China, 2007, a special event of the 52nd Venice Biennale, staged by Mario Botta, an exhibition curated by Flavio Caroli. Also in 2007 he exhibited in the Uffizi Museum in Florence the Notturno work for the collections of the Prints and Drawings Cabinet, an exhibition curated by Marzia Faietti. Among the other exhibitions held in the 2000s, we recall D’après Canova. Omar Galliani works from 1977 to 1980, Palazzo Binelli, Carrara.
In 2010 he exhibited the cycle of works Nocturno, Museum of Modern Art, Montevideo, and Atchugarry Foundation, Punta del Este, Uruguay, Palacio de la Moneda Cultural Center, Santiago de Chile. In 2012 Omar, Rome, Amor, Bilotti Museum, Rome , edited by Gabriele Simongini. Also in 2012, The Male, the Female, the Sacred. Omar Galliani in Dialogue with Drawing Tradition, Cafa Art Museum, Beijing, curated by Manuela Lietti. In 2013, Omar Galliani - Alessandro Busci - A passage of generation, Museo Maga, Gallarate, curated by Flavio Caroli. In 2012, he also participated in the 58th Puccini Festival in Torre del Lago with the Great Italian design installation.
In 2011 in London, on the occasion of the Farnesina exhibition of contemporary art collections at the Italian Cultural Institute, he exhibited New anatomies. In 2007 in Hong Kong the Schoeni Art Gallery presents Omar Galliani Great Italian Drawing, an exhibition curated by Gioia Mori and Fiorella Minervino. In 2008, the President of the Republic Giorgio Napolitano awarded him the honor of Knight of the Arts and Culture.
In 2009 the Michetti Museum of Francavilla al Mare presents Sguardi, an exhibition curated by Giovanni Gazzaneo. In 2010, the Musée d 'Art Moderne in Saint-Etienne presents Dans mon tiroir, curated by Lorand Hegyi. In 2011 the Museum of Art - Seoul National University exhibits Seoul's Soul, a presentation by Lorand Hegyi.
In 2013, at the State Historical Museum in Moscow, Face and Soul is held, 48 Russian female faces gathered in a single large installation-table, a project curated by the K35 Art Gallery, an exhibition included in the collateral events of the II Moscow Biennale. In Venice in the same year he created the room The dream of Princess Lyu Ji in the Chinese Room of Caffè Florian for the XII edition of Temporanea with poems by Roberto Mussapi. In 2014 the exhibition The opera al nero at the GAM in Turin, curated by Danilo Eccher, opens. Also in 2014 in Grizzana Morandi (Casa Studio Giorgio Morandi, Fienili del Compiaro) presents Galliani meets Morandi, curated by Eleonora Frattarolo.
In 2017, a collective exhibition at Villa Bardini in Florence, Nero su Nero. From Fontana and Kounellis to Galliani, curated by Vera Agosti. In 2017 the work "Lontano da Xian" exhibited in the VI Biennial of Beijing became part of the collections of the NAMOC - National Art Museum of China. In 2018 in Milan he was invited by the Galleries of Italy to create a solo show entitled Around the Caravaggio linked to the last work, Il martirio di Sant’Orsola, an exhibition curated by Raffaella Resch. In 2018 he donates his Self-Portrait to the Uffizi Galleries in Florence.
In 2019, the personal The body of drawing at the CIAC of Foligno, Leonardesca at the Castello Svevo of Bari and Omar Galliani. Chiaroscuro: A Symphony in Graphite at the Tornabuoni Art Gallery in London.
He is a professor of painting at the Brera Academy of Fine Arts in Milan.