Umberto Mastroianni



Umberto Mastroianni Painter

Umberto Mastroianni pittore

Umberto Mastroianni was an Italian painter and sculptor. Born in 1910 in Fontana del Liri, in the province of Frosinone, he was one of the most famous Italian artists of the 20th century. Son of Vincenzo Mastroianni and Luigia Maria Vincenza Conte, he was the uncle of the internationally known actor Marcello Mastroianni. From a young age, he demonstrated great artistic talent and a passion for sculpture. At the age of fourteen, in 1924, he moved to Rome, where he began studying sculpture at his uncle Domenico's studio. During this period, he also attended drawing courses at the Accademia di San Marcello.
In 1926, his family moved to Turin, and it was there that Umberto Mastroianni perfected his artistic skills at the atelier of the sculptor Michele Guerrisi. It is precisely in Turin that the young artist refined his style, taking inspiration from the futurism of Umberto Boccioni. Already in 1930, at the age of twenty, Mastroianni obtained his first official recognition, the Premio del Turismo, offered by the Ministry of Education. From that moment, his career took off, and he began exhibiting his works in national and European exhibitions. In 1931, he held his first solo exhibition at the Galleria Genova in Genoa. Subsequently, he regularly participates in the national trade union exhibitions, at the Quadrennials of Rome, at the Promotrici of Turin and at the Biennials of Venice.
During the Second World War, he joined the Italian Resistance, fighting in the partisan formations of the Canavese area. This commitment is then reflected in his subsequent works, which express the demands born from the fight for freedom. Umberto Mastroianni develops a poetics of the Resistance, recognized by the art critic Giulio Carlo Argan. His works become a symbol of the moral significance of the Resistance, and contribute to consolidating his reputation as a committed sculptor.
In the 1940s, he began to experiment with poor materials, thus becoming the first Italian abstract sculptor. Using colored and scraped terracotta, plaster, cardboard and raw sacks, he creates dynamic abstract and geometric shapes. After the war, his style evolved towards plastic dynamism, inspired by Boccioni's art, enriched by references to futurism, cubism and the works of artists such as Constantin Brancusi, Jean Arp and Henry Moore. Mastroianni's works are characterized by a lacerating, intense and profound trait. His inspiration is aimed at man's research and human value, which emerge from the tragedy and misery of war. One of his most significant works of this period is the Monument to the Fallen of Cuneo, considered his most beautiful work and awarded in 1973 by the Accademia dei Lincei. In the following years, Umberto Mastroianni continues to exhibit his works in important exhibitions and receives numerous awards, including the Premio Imperiale in Japan. His artistic research also develops in engraving, with exhibitions of etchings and lithographic folders. He also collaborated with renowned architects, such as Carlo Mollino and Ettore Sottsass, creating works that combined sculpture and architecture.
Umberto Mastroianni was also a sculpture teacher at the Academy of Fine Arts of Bologna, the Academy of Fine Arts of Naples and the Academy of Fine Arts of Rome. Over the course of his career, he left an artistic legacy of great value, with works featured in over 280 museums around the world.
Umberto Mastroianni died in 1998, at the age of eighty-eight, in his house-museum in Marino, near the Colonna Gardens. His remains rest in the Carmagnola cemetery, near Turin. Today, the Umberto Mastroianni Foundation and the Foundation Museum preserve and enhance his works, offering the public the opportunity to admire and study his extraordinary contribution to twentieth-century art.

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