Giuseppe Ajmone

Giuseppe AJMONE | Works and biography



Giuseppe Ajmone was born in Carpignano Sesia in 1923, from Piero Ajmone and Natalia Geranzani. It is in this small town that he spent the first years of his childhood.

Following the death of his mother, which occurred in 1931, he moved with his father to Novara, a fundamental place for his growth.

In fact, it was in Novara that Ajmone began his artistic training: enrolled in the Liceo Ginnasio "Collegio Gallarini", in 1937 he began drawing in the studio of the then well-known sculptor Riccardo Mella. Thanks to the teachings of his master, Giuseppe Ajmone acquires his first experience in drawing and modeling.

Shortly before finishing this cycle of studies, the boy also lost his father, following a serious car accident in January 1941.

A few months later, having obtained his diploma from the Magistral Institute, Ajmone was admitted to theBrera Academy of Fine Arts, in Milan. In the Milanese city, thanks to the fresco school of Achille Funi, will discover Italian classicism, while, thanks to the painting courses of Carlo Carrà, will approach the Futurism.

The years spent in Milan also meant meeting numerous artists, who were fundamental in Ajmone's artistic growth: from Bruno Cassinari a Ennio Morlotti, da Roberto Crippa a Piero Giunni. With some, such as Cassinari, he will also share his studio in the historic center of the city.

The Brera district, which Ajmone begins to frequent with assiduity, represents a nerve center of the culture of those years. There The Million Gallery, for example, it becomes a place of reference in which to ferment the arts.

Just in the years spent in Milan, Giuseppe Ajmone approaches the post-cubism, even if reinterpreted in a personal way. In those years, in fact, that style represented a breaking point with the autarchic culture of the fascist regime. Post-Cubism is synonymous with freedom and the desire to rebuild.

In December 1945 the art magazine was born Embankment, of which Ajmone is one of the founders: the purpose of the newspaper is to document the important artistic moment that the Milanese city is experiencing. The social and artistic commitment of the artist will culminate with the signing of the Manifesto of Realism, also known by the name Beyond Guernica (from the name of the famous painting by Pablo Picasso), published in the magazine in 1946, in which the political commitment of art is renewed.

These are years full of important cultural exchanges. Worthy of note is the collaboration between Ajmone and the Einaudi publishing house, of which he takes care not only of the layout, but also of the covers and dust jackets of books illustrated by contemporary artists. For each book a different artist was chosen (usually they were young painters Ajmone had met in Brera), who, after reading the book, was in charge of illustrating the cover and the dust jacket. In this way, two apparently distant worlds begin to communicate, that of writing and that of painting, with surprising results also for Einaudi.

It is at the publishing house that the artist makes the acquaintance of illustrious writers, such as Italo Calvino and Cesare Pavese.

On May 4, 1946 he married Maria Angela Barzizza and moved to the province of Alessandria, where the eldest daughter was born in 1947.

1948 is the year in which he participates for the first time in the Venice Biennale for the "XXIV International Art Exhibition". It will be only the first of a long series of participations in the famous Biennale.

It is precisely on the occasion of this event that in 1951 the "Senator Borletti Award": it is a precious recognition for his career, as it makes him known in the national artistic panorama. Moving with his family to Milan in 1953, he exhibited his works at the "Modern Italian Painting Exhibition" at the Painting Gallery. Absolutely noteworthy is the introduction of the catalog signed by Salvatore Quasimodo.

In 1954 he made his first personal exhibition at the Galleria Il Milione, which the artist had frequented so much as a young man.

The studio in Via Sant'Agnese in Milan, surrounded by greenery, will mark the characteristics of his works of those years: the nature becomes the protagonist of his paintings from the 1950s. What he paints is a nature forced between the walls of the city, which pushes upwards in search of light.

In addition to landscapes and still lifes, Giuseppe Ajmone will also be interested in gods offers, especially in the second part of his artistic life, from the mid-sixties until his death. In 1982 he exhibited the famous series of works of the great drowned nudes (inspired by a chronicle of his country of origin) at the Palazzo della Permanente in Milan, later also exhibited in Villa Marazza di Borgomanero and a Robellini Palace of Aqui Terme.

The nineties, on the other hand, are those of collective exhibitions. The last exhibition dates back to October 2004 at the Montrasio Gallery from Milan.

Giuseppe Ajmone dies in Romagnano Sesia, where he lived until April 8, 2005.