Aligi Sassu



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Aligi Sassu Painter

Aligi Sassu pittore

Aligi Sassu, born in Milan in 1912, was an Italian painter among the most important of the second half of the twentieth century. Son of Antonio Sassu, among the founders of the Italian Socialist Party in Sassari, and of Lina Pedretti, originally from Parma, he had the opportunity to come into contact with the Milanese avant-garde from a young age, thanks to the strong friendship that bound his father to the artist futurist Carlo Carrà. At just seven years old, in 1919, Aligi Sassu visited the National Futurist Exhibition at the Galleria Moretti of Palazzo Cova, where the main exponents of the Futurist movement were gathered. This meeting marks the beginning of his passion for art and, in 1928, thanks to his friendship with Bruno Munari, he participates in the Venice Biennale at the invitation of Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, the founder of Futurism. Despite the economic constraints affecting the family, Aligi Sassu managed to attend evening courses and work as an apprentice at a lithographic printing factory and as a helper to a wall decorator. In the meantime, he developed his interest in futurist painting, while trying to trace his own personal artistic path.
During the Parisian period of 1934, Aligi Sassu deepened his knowledge of the works of great masters, such as Delacroix and the Impressionists. These encounters influence his painting, leading him to create works that combine the dynamic energy of Futurism with a more personal and thoughtful expression. In the 1930s, he formed the Gruppo Rosso , with artists such as Renato Guttuso , dedicating himself to politically and socially engaged art. The "Red Men" series is an expression of this phase, in which he represents mythological and popular figures immersed in a magical world and distant from reality.
His painting becomes increasingly eclectic and varied, ranging from sacred works, coffee scenes, boxers and horses, which become its distinctive trademark. His passion for horses led him to create numerous works, but the artist cannot be limited to this symbol alone, as his production was vast and multifaceted.
In 1964, Aligi Sassu moved to Spain, to Mallorca , where he developed new techniques and experimented with the use of acrylic to enhance the vibrant colors of the island. Here the "Tauromachie" series was born, inspired by Spanish culture and bullfights.
After returning to Milan in the 1980s, he continued to collaborate with publishing houses and illustrate literary masterpieces such as the "The Betrothed" by Alessandro Manzoni. Over the years, he donated numerous works, created from 1927 to 1996, to the city of Lugano, giving life to the Aligi Sassu and Helenita Olivares Foundation.
Aligi Sassu died in 2000, in his home in Pollença , in Mallorca, on his birthday, at the age of 88. His artistic legacy has been celebrated by numerous exhibitions around the world, testifying to the value and importance of his contribution to Italian and international art. Aligi Sassu will remain in history as a cosmopolitan artist, open to the world and humanity, who left an indelible mark on the artistic panorama of the twentieth century. His painting, characterized by vibrant color and a search for personal expression, has continued to influence successive generations of artists and thrill viewers around the world. 



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