Alberto Magelli

Work in the collection: Untitled, 1957 – Oil on paper – 65 x 60 cm.

* July 1, 1888 in Florence; † April 20, 1971 in Meudon

He learned to paint as an autodidact. In fact, he does not attend school or art academy, preferring to visit museums and visit churches frequently. Until about 1914, he painted representational landscapes, people and still lifes. After that, his compositions gradually become more abstract; He calls them “fictional images”. His first solo exhibition took place in 1921. In the 1920s and 1930s he painted fantasy landscapes that came close to metaphysical painting.

The artist traveled to Paris at the age of 26. There Magnelli met Pablo Picasso and Fernand Léger, among others. He achieves a highly acclaimed championship. Alberto Magnelli took part in the documenta in Kassel in 1955 and 1959.

From 1931 to 1934 he begins the “Stones” series, in which he shows shapes inspired by the marble quarries of Carrara (Italy). These composite stones seem to tell a story, with the artist emphasizing the soft drape of the rigor of a personal architecture. From 1934 he only painted abstractly. Parallel to his painting, a work consisting of etchings and lithographs is created.

In the 1940s he made collages using burned tin, packaging canvas and paint. He paints gouaches on slates. After the war, Magnelli preferred compositions in which geometric shapes, ellipses and lines are drawn out flat on monochromatic backgrounds. Alberto Magnelli, through numerous detours that gradually created his own world of expression, asserted himself in geometric abstraction, which favored order and rigor.

Exhibitions (selection)

1950 Venice Biennale
1954 Palais des Beaux Arts Brussels
1955 documenta I
1959 documenta II
1963 Kunsthaus Zurich
1968 Museum of Modern Art in Paris