Mario Sironi

Biography

Sironi was born in Sassari in 1885. He studied engineering in Rome, but soon devoted himself to painting by attending the Free School of Nude and studied Giacomo Balla. It is here where he would meet Umberto Boccioni and Gino Severini. In 1905 he moved to Milan and participated for the first time with two works (Without Light and Landscape) at an exhibition of the Amatori and Cultori Society: still mindful of the divisionism in his works already expresses a plastic and architectural vocation, not painting an image “divided” into lines, but a world of volumes that attract lines to themselves. In 1906 he stayed in Paris, where Boccioni would be as well. Starting from 1913, inspired by the work of Boccioni, he approaches Futurism, which he interprets in the light of an incessant volumetric research. Near the outbreak of the war in 1915 he joined the Volunteer Cyclists Battalion, which includes all the Futurists (Boccioni, Marinetti, Sant’Elia, Funi, Russolo, and others). In July 1919, after returning to Rome, he held his first solo exhibition at the Casa d’Arte Bragaglia, where he presented works of metaphysical ancestry together with Futurist paintings. He would then move to Milan to begin his first urban landscapes that are influenced by the city. Furthermore, his attachment and interest in Fascism during the 1930s will be firmly expressed with ideological content. The flanking of the Regime made him become one of the main spokesmen in the pictorial field. The flanking of the Regime made him become one of the main spokesmen in the pictorial field. He was one of the great founders, together with Margherita Sarfatti, of the twentieth century movement to re-evaluate and deepen the whole of the ancient Italian tradition from fresco, mosaic, and bas-relief. Since 1925, he joined the Sterring Committee and exhibited at the national and international exhibitions of the group (in 1926 in Milan at the Mostra del Novecento Italiano; Paris at the Galerie Carminati; in 1927 in Geneva, Zurich, Amsterdam, the Hague; in 1929 in Milan at the second exhibition of the twentieth century Italian; the exhibitions in Nice, Geneva, Berlin, Paris; in 1930 in Basel, Berne, Buenos Aires; and in 1931 in Stockholm, Oslo, Helsinki). During these years, he dedicated himself to the design of monuments (memorable to the Fiera di Milano FIAT Pavilions), and with absolute consistency develops the same themes of his painting. In addition to painting, he also devotes himself to his work as an illustrator throughout his career. From 1927, he began writing as an art critic on the People of Italy. In 1931, he was invited to a personal room at the I Quadriennale exhibition in Rome, but despite the support of Ojetti, he did not receive any prizes. His painting, characterized by a nervousness of the figure and a violent brushstroke, disoriented most critics. During the fall of the 1943 regime, the collapse of civil and political illustrations, together with the tragic loss of his daughter (1948), influenced painting from the second half of the 1940s: the fragmentary nature of the forms and the loosening of the compositional syntax. He continued to exhibit in Italy in Triennale di Milano, 1951 and Qudriennale di roma, 1955. He also had shows abroad with a traveling exhibiton in the United States, with Marino Marini, in 1953). In 1956 he was elected Academician of San Luca. He died in Milan in 1961.