Artist biography

Ettore Colla 1896-1968

Italian sculptor, painter, art dealer and editor. Born in Parma. Studied at the Academy of Fine Arts there until 1921, when he left Parma and travelled to Paris (where he worked briefly as assistant to Bourdelle and met Maillol and Despiau), Brussels, Rome and Vienna. Settled in Rome 1926, made portrait busts, nude figures and studies for monuments influenced by Bourdelle and Arturo Martini. Temporarily stopped making sculpture c.1942 and worked as art dealer, organiser of exhibitions, editor and critic. Began to paint c.1948-9 in an abstract style with geometric forms, and founded with Ballocco, Burn and Capogrossi the group Origine 1950. Opened a gallery of the same name where he held exhibitions of Balla, Vantongerloo and others, and edited the review Arti Visive 1952-8. His use of collage led in 1952 to the making of reliefs in wood and iron, and from 1954 to welded iron sculptures, most of which were assembled from found objects. First one-man exhibition at the Galleria dell'Università degli Studi di Milano, Gargnano del Garda, 1953. Died in Rome.

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.128