Massimo Campigli



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Massimo Campigli Painter

Massimo Campigli pittore

Massimo Campigli, born Max Hilenfeld, was an Italian painter among the most important and representative of the Italian twentieth century. He was born in Berlin in 1895 to an eighteen-year-old single mother who, immediately after his birth, decided to move to Florence with her family.
The young Campigli grows up believing that his mother is his grandmother when in reality it is his aunt Paolina. At the age of fifteen he discovered the truth by pure chance, and was greatly shocked by it. From that moment, in fact, he will see the female figure with different eyes.
During his classical studies, Massimo Campigli showed a strong interest in both literature and art. In 1914, at the age of nineteen, he began working at the Corriere della Sera and at the same time frequented the Milanese futurist scene, coming into contact with Umberto Boccioni e Carlo Carrà.
When the First World War broke out, having applied to become an Italian citizen, Massimo Campigli was conscripted and sent to the front. In 1916 he was taken prisoner and spent some time in a security facility in Vienna, from where he managed to escape in 1917.
After returning to Italy, he returned to work for Corriere della Sera as a correspondent in Paris. His passion for painting exploded in the City of Light, which led him to work as a painter by day and journalist by night for many years. His excellent skills as an artist were immediately noticed. Some of his paintings were, in fact, sold to Leon Rosenberg, who in those years was considered among the most important art dealers. Already in 1921, Campigli exhibited his first works at the Salon d'Automne.
At the end of the twenties, Massimo Campigli resigned from his position as a journalist at the Corriere della Sera to dedicate himself completely to painting, creating the group that would take the name of "The seven of Paris", also known as "Italiens de Paris". In addition to Campigli, the group was made up of De Chirico, Tozzi, Severini, De Pisis, Paresce and Savino. The group will be active until 1932.
Also at the end of the 1920s, Pittoresi went to Rome for a trip and visited, on that occasion, the Museum of Villa Giulia and was particularly struck by the art of the Etruscans. This event fascinated him so much that it led him to modify his way of painting, bringing his technique closer to that of fresco, with a limited use of colors and a greater geometrization of figures and objects.
An element always at the center of Massimo Campigli's works is the female figure which is surrounded by various subjects such as children, bathers and factories. These creatures were stylized, half idols and half toys, closed within their geometries, trapped in showcases made of paint.
His artistic change leads him to reject his old pictorial works, deciding to repaint the old canvases. The following decade, the 1930s, saw him as the protagonist of several solo exhibitions throughout Europe and in the major cities of the rest of the world.
In these years, he met and married the sculptor Giuditta Scalini and it was the period in which he painted several portraits for well-known American collectors. Massimo Campigli's growing attention to the fresco leads him to accept the task of frescoing a wall of the Palace of Justice in Milan on the occasion of the Universal Exhibition.
During the Second World War, Massimo Campigli moved to Venice with his family to avoid the bombings. It is here that the first son Nicola was born. Once the war was over, the artist returned to Milan and began to dedicate himself to lithography, illustrating The Poems of Paul Verlain.
In recent years he has exhibited all over the world. Some of the most noteworthy exhibitions of the 1940s and 1950s were those in Venice, Amsterdam, Rome, Paris, London, Manchester, Boston and New York.
His last personal exhibition is organized at Palazzo Reale in Milan. A few years later, in May 1971, Massimo Campigli passed away in Saint-Tropez.

Massimo Campigli QUOTAZIONI


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