Artist biography

Gino Severini 1883-1966

Italian painter, designer and writer on art. Born at Cortona. Moved c.1899 to Rome, where he briefly attended evening classes in drawing at the Villa Medici. In 1900 met Boccioni and decided to become a painter; introduced by Boccioni to Balla, who initiated him in Divisionism. Settled in Paris in 1906 and in the next years met Modigliani, Braque, Picasso and other leading artists of the School of Paris. Signed the Technical Manifesto of Futurist Painting in 1910 with Boccioni, Carrà, Russolo and Balla, and for the next five years participated actively in the Futurist movement. First one-man exhibition at the Marlborough Gallery, London, 1913. Painted scenes of dancers, the Paris Metro, etc., and some pictures with a fusion of images such as 'Dancer = Sea + Vase of Flowers'. Became increasingly concerned with Cubist structure, and turned to orthodox synthetic Cubism 1916-21, partly through friendship with Gris. Published Du Cubisme au Classicisme in 1921, setting out his theories of mathematical proportions. From 1922 carried out a number of commissions in Switzerland and Italy for decorative frescoes and mosaics in more traditional styles, including murals of religious subjects for several churches in Switzerland; also designed for the ballet and theatre 1940-2. From the late 1940s reverted to a semi-abstract, Futurist style. His writings include an autobiography, Tutta la Vita di un Pittore 1946. Died in Paris.

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.684