Born in Genoa to Sicilian parents, at the age of one he moved with them to Palermo, where the fascist regime forced them to return, due to his father's trade union activity. Attardi arrived in Rome in 1945, where he frequented Guttuso's studio, a fundamental experience in his career. In 1947 he entered the heart of the artistic debate by participating (together with Accardi, Consagra, Dorazio, Guerrini, Perilli, Sanfilippo and Turcato) in the foundation of "Forma 1", the first Italian abstract group after the Second World War. Shortly thereafter, however, he felt a renewed impulse towards figuration and definitively distanced himself from abstract experience. Accardi has given life to a personal poetics, based on a dramatic co-presence of opposites: classical beauty and deformity, tenderness and violence.
Since the 1950s he has participated several times in the Venice Biennale and the Rome Quadrennial and has held large solo exhibitions. In 1961 he joined the group “Il Pro e il Contro”, together with Calabria, Farulli, Gianquinto, Guccione and Vespignani. In 1967 he began a fervent activity as a sculptor. His monumental sculptures can be found in major European and world capitals. Among these The Vessel of the Revolution (1988), in Rome, at the Palazzo dello Sport; In the Americas, 1992, in Buenos Aires; the famous Ulysses, from 1996, in New York.