Nunzio was born in 1954 in Cagnano Amiterno, in the province of L’Aquila. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome, graduating in the class of Toti Scialoja.
In 1973 he opened a studio in the former Cerere pasta factory in the Roman district of San Lorenzo, where Bruno Ceccobelli, Gianni Dessì, Giuseppe Gallo, Piero Pizzi Cannella and Marco Tirelli also worked.
After his first solo show in 1981 at the Galleria Spatia in Bolzano, in 1984 he exhibited a selection of large plaster sculptures at the Galleria L’Attico in Rome, an important solo exhibition curated by Giuliano Briganti. In the same year, Achille Bonito Oliva organised the collective exhibition Ateliers, which focused on the artists living in San Lorenzo.
Nunzio’s first American exhibition took place in 1985 at the Annina Nosei Gallery in New York. It was a defining moment that opened doors to collectors and the market, and contributed to the international diffusion of his expressive language.
In 1986, Nunzio presented his first works on wood and lead at Galleria L’Attico, with some of these works later being featured at the 42nd Venice Biennale where Nunzio won the Premio 2000 as best young artist. The following year, a series of works in plaster and burnt wood were brought together for a solo exhibition held at the Galleria Civica in Modena.
Between the late 1980s and the early 1990s, Nunzio’s solo and group exhibitions increased in number, both in Italy and internationally: in 1985, the Nouvelle Biennale de Paris, L’Italie aujourd’hui at the Centre National d’Art Contemporain in Nice, Nuove trame dell’arte at the Castello Colonna in Genazzano, and Anni Ottanta at the Galleria Comunale in Bologna; in 1986, Aspekte der Italienischen Kunst, a travelling exhibition held in various cities in Germany; the 11th Quadrennial in Rome (returning also in 1996) and the 6th Sydney Biennial; in 1989, Los Nuevos Romanos in Santiago de Compostela and Madrid, and Prospekt ‘89 in Frankfurt; Roma interna at the Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig in Vienna (1991), and the 3rd Istanbul Biennial the following year.
In 1994, Nunzio’s first solo exhibition in Japan was held at the Kodama Gallery in Osaka, and the following year he participated in the Fujisankei Biennale, where his sculpture Ombre (“Shadows”) – set in the spaces of the Hakone Open-Air Museum – won the Prize for Excellence. In the same year, Nunzio received an Honourable Mention for his personal space at the Venice Biennale and had his first retrospective exhibition at Villa delle Rose, one of the venues of the Bologna Modern Art Gallery, which exhibited his work from the previous decade.
In 1997, he presented his first works in bronze at the Galerie Alice Pauli in Lausanne, where he later returned to exhibit in 2001 and 2010.
In 2000, a solo show of Nunzio’s work was held at the Galleria Fumagalli in Bergamo, with a monograph being published to mark the occasion.
Since 2004 he has collaborated with the Giorgio Persano Gallery in Turin, where a successful series of solo exhibitions have been hosted. In 2005 he had a solo exhibition at the Galleria dello Scudo in Verona, curated by Lea Vergine, where he presented a series of installations in burnt wood, creating new and estranging inhabitable spaces.
In 2005 and 2006, two anthological exhibitions were held at MACRO in Rome, curated by Danilo Eccher, and at the Belgrade Museum of Contemporary Art, curated by Bruno Corà. In 2012 at the Museum Biedermann in Donaueschingen, Germany, Norbert Nobis presented another solo show by the Nunzio. In 2017, Nunzio was invited to exhibit his sculptures in an important group show, Ytalia, at the Forte di Belvedere and Palazzo Marino Marini in Florence. In 2018, Galleria Casamadre in Naples presented the solo show Nunzio – Giallo di Napoli Nero pece Blu cobalto.
In February 2019, upon invitation from Anna-Maria Ehrmann- Schindlbeck, he inaugurated the show Skiá at the Galerie der Stadt in Tuttlingen, Germany. Nunzio’s solo exhibition The Shock of Objectivity, curated by Kenneth Baker, took place the same year at Mazzoleni in London.
Nunzio currently lives and works between Rome and Turin.