Arturo Carmassi biography




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

Arturo Carmassi attends the Fontanesi landscape school and for a short time also theAlbertina Academy, where he comes into contact with artists who will inspire him to start his career as a painter and sculptor. The Piedmontese city at the time was strongly influenced by neo-Cubist instances which did not influence excessively the artist who will always carve out a space of independence and absolute originality.

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

At the end of the Sixties, Arturo Carmassi seems to overcome the surrealist tendencies and recover the objective data of the image. The main subjects of his paintings and works are once again i landscapes not figure. We can say that Arturo Carmassi's style undergoes continuous evolutions and changes, often influenced by his friendships and acquaintances. His mentors have been Patrick Wallberg, a poet close to André Breton and the same Jean-Marie Drott.

Arturo Carmassi dedicated most of his life to painting, sculpture and engraving, with an abnegation that is difficult to find in a contemporary artist, so much so that he garnered the deep esteem of many prominent personalities on the Italian and international scene.

The artist experiments with multiple techniques, which are very different from each other from time to time, in 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 by international tendencies, 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 mainly devoted himself to lithography and chalcography until the last years of his life.

The end of the 1960s also coincides with the artist's period of greatest notoriety, above all by the general public. At an international level, there have been many occasions in which he has been invited to participate or in which his works have been exhibited even after his death. By way of example only, the following deserve a 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; there International Woodcut Triennial, held both in Germany, Switzerland and Brazil between 1975 and 1979; finally, the National Museum of Modern Art of 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 sublime painter of the 20th century. The tributes to the artist Arturo Carmassi didn't end there. Says about him Jean-Marie Drot, who is one of the greatest artists of his time, who has yet to be recognized the place he deserves on the European and international scene. Admired by the critics, Arturo Carmassi is considered one of the greatest exponents of 20th-century painting and, even after his death, there have been many shows and exhibitions, including at an international level, which have tried 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.

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