Giuseppe Santomaso biography

Giuseppe Santomaso pittore

Giuseppe Santomaso, born in 1907 in Venice to a Venetian goldsmith and a woman from Padua, was an Italian painter among the most influential of the 20th century. From a young age, he showed an innate talent for painting, which pushed him to first attend the Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa and subsequently the Academy of Fine Arts of Venice, where he came into contact with the sculptor Alberto Viani.
Initially, his style was naturalistic and figurative, typical of many young artists of the time. However, Giuseppe Santomaso is not satisfied with following traditional canons and is increasingly approaching avant-garde art. In 1937, he traveled to the Netherlands to study the Impressionists and the Fauves, and the use of color in works such as those of Van Gogh had a significant impact on his artistic evolution.
His first solo exhibition took place in Paris in 1939 , at the Galerie Rive Gauche. In the 1940s, he actively participated in the anti-fascist movement, contributing to the founding of the artists' group Nuova secessione artistic italiana and Fronte nuova delle arti . This period marks a turning point in his artistic production, in which the style evolves towards an ' abstract and lyrical expression . His works of still lifes and portraits are replaced by a freer painting and experimental. From 1948, Giuseppe Santomaso began to exhibit regularly at the Venice Biennale, consolidating his reputation and obtaining numerous awards, including the First Prize for Italian Painting in 1954. In parallel with the exhibitions and artistic events, he also carried out a significant teaching activity at the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice from 1957 to 1975. The trip to the United States in 1957 marked a crucial moment for the artist's career. During his stay in New York, Giuseppe Santomaso came into contact with the exponents of Abstract Expressionism , who greatly influenced his style and artistic themes. His works become increasingly luminous and architectural, exploring the possibilities of color and light. In the 1960s, the artist faces another phase of change in his artistic production. He approaches minimalism , reducing the shapes and simplifying the compositions to essential geometric elements. This period marks a greater reflection on the very nature of painting, exploring the autonomy of the image and the interaction between form and color.
In the last years of his life, Giuseppe Santomaso continues to produce significant works, maintaining a place of importance in the panorama of Italian contemporary art. In 1990, shortly after his death, a major retrospective dedicated to his work was organized at the Pinacoteca Rusca in Locarno.
Giuseppe Santomaso was an eclectic and visionary artist, capable of adapting and reinventing himself in the course of his career. His ability to express abstract emotions and tensions through color and form made him one of the main representatives of lyrical and expressionist abstractionism in Italy. His artistic legacy continues to inspire and influence subsequent generations of artists.