Arturo Carmassi biography




Arturo Carmassi was an Italian sculptor and painter. He was born in Lucca in 1925 and moved to Turin with his family as a child.

Arturo Carmassi attended the Fontanesi Landscape School and for a short period also the Accademia Albertina, where he came into contact with artists who will inspire him to start his career of painter and sculptor.The Piedmontese city at the time was strongly influenced by neo-cubist instances which did not excessively influence the artist who would always carve out a space of independence and absolute originality.

After moving to Milan in 1952, the painter began to frequent international movements linked to painting and sculpture, coming into contact with the historical avant-gardes of the time. Indeed, in his works dating back to the 1950s one can glimpse those surrealist elements by which he was influenced in those years of his professional growth and which he began to abandon only after about a decade of intense activity.

At the end of the Sixties, Arturo Carmassi seems to overcome surrealist tendencies and recover the objective data of the image. The main subjects of his paintings and works once again become landscapes and figures. We can say that Arturo Carmassi's style undergoes continuous evolutions and changes, often influenced by his friendships and acquaintances. His mentors were Patrick Wallberg, a poet close to André Breton and Jean-Marie Drot himself.

Arturo Carmassi dedicated most of his life to painting, sculpture and engraving, with a self-denial that is difficult to find in a contemporary artist, so much so that he garnered the profound esteem of many prominent figures in the Italian and international.

The artist experiments with multiple techniques, each time very different from each other, in a continuous evolution and growth: from collage, to oils, to the use of non-traditional materials, such as wax, cardboard, fabrics and wood. His trait is also enriched with international trends, thanks to the numerous trips abroad he makes during his life.

In the last years of his career, Arturo Carmassi preferred to retire to the Tuscan countryside, in Torre di Fucecchio, between Florence, Pisa and Lucca. In his homeland the artist dedicated himself mainly to lithography and chalcography, until the last years of his life.

The end of the Sixties also coincides with the period of greatest notoriety of the artist, especially among the general public. At an international level there have been many occasions in which he was invited to participate or in which his works were exhibited even after his death. By way of example only, the following deserve special mention, in chronological order: the exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, held in New York in 1957; the 1958 Amsterdam Biennial; The New Generation in Italian Art, held in Dallas, San Francisco and New York in 1960; the Triennale Internationale de Gravure sur Bois, held both in Germany, Switzerland and Brazil between 1975 and 1979; finally, the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo and Kyoto in 1976.

His figure is inextricably linked to that of another beloved artist of his time, namely Andrea Camilleri , who mentions him several times during his interviews and in his works as a painter sublime of the 20th century. The tributes to the artist Arturo Carmassi did not end here. Jean-Marie Drot says of him that he is one of the greatest artists of his time, who has yet to be given the place he deserves on the European and international scene. Admired by critics, Arturo Carmassi is considered one of the greatest exponents of twentieth century painting and, even after his death, there have been many exhibitions and exhibitions, including at an international level, which have attempted to pay him the right tribute, demonstrating how his notoriety has also gone beyond national borders.

Arturo Carmassi died in Fucecchio, in the province of Empoli, in 2015.