The sustainable lightness of being something else - Florence Art Gallery 29 September - 7 October 2018
FLORENCE ART GALLERY presents a solo show of the great master MINO MACCARI, titled “The sustainable lightness of being something else”. The exhibition showcases a selection of the artist most iconic works. The son of the artist, Marco Maccari, will be present at the opening. The exhibition’s curator Giovanni Faccenda, scholar and art critic, writes in the catalogue made for this event: “Mino Maccari was one of the most famous and deserving figures expressed by Italian art and culture throughout the twentieth century”.
About the artist
Mino Maccari was born in Siena on November 24, 1898 and grew up in several cities where his father, a professor of Latin and Greek, moved to work: Trani, Urbino, Milan, Genoa, San Remo, Livorno. After high school he studied law at the University of Siena and graduated in 1920, after the interruption occorre due to the call to military service in 1917. However, the forensic practice does not excite him and soon he abandons it to support his strong passion for painting and engraving on wood. He exhibited for the first time in 1922 with the Labronico Group of Livorno. In 1924 his friend Angiolo Bencini, director and founder of “Il Selvaggio”, offered to take care of the editing and printing of his magazine. In 1926 Mino Maccari took over the management and moved the editorial office of the newspaper first to Florence, then to Siena in 1929, to Turin for a few months in 1931 and to Rome at the end of the same year. With his direction the artistic and literary character of “Il Selvaggio” is accentuated, to which highest level collaborations will adhere. To name only a few, from Leo Longanesi, Giorgio Morandi, Ottone Rosai, Ardengo Soffici, Romano Bilenchi, Achille Lega, Fernando Agnoletti, Aldo Palazzeschi, Curio Malaparte, Piero Bargellini, Primo Zeglio, Mario Tobino, Luigi Spazzapan, Bruno Barilli, Francesco Lanza, Antonello Trombadori, Orfeo Tamburi, Renato Guttuso, Toti Scialoia. The publication of the magazine will end in 1943 with the number of June 15th. For some years he collaborated with “La Stampa”, the “Popolo d’Italia” and “La Nazione”; together with Ennio Flaiano and Amerigo Bartoli he works at the “Mondo”, directed by Mario Pannunzio. In 1939 was appointed professor of engraving techniques first at the Academy of Fine Arts in Naples and then at Rome. Later, in 1963, he was appointed president of the Accademia di San Luca. In the same year, the Accademia dei Lincei awarded him the Feltrinelli Prize for painting. He will leave his teaching in 1970 and will alternate long stays in Rome and Cinquale. Alongside the pictorial activity, Mino Maccari works as an illustrator for numerous books, creates beautiful collections of engravings, takes care of important scenographies. At the same time he participates in the political and intellectual activity of the First and Second World War, never failing to ironize and criticize the Italian vices and the patronage and partition system perpetuated by the post-war managing class. In 1928 he participated for the first time at the Venice Biennale (XVI International Art Exhibition) and in the following years he was the protagonist of numerous national and international exhibitions of painting and graphics: in 1930 he was present at the Exposition de la Gravure et de la médaille italienne contemporaine at the “Bibliothèque Nationale” in Paris; in 1931 at the I Quadriennale d’Arte Nazionale of Rome, at which he will participate again in 1955 with a solo show; in 1934 he was again at the Venice Biennale, where he will return again in 1939, in 1948 with a personal exhibition of 68 works ordered and presented by Roberto Longhi, in 1950, in 1960 with another composed of 94 works and edited by Giovanni Urbani and finally in 1962. In 1935 he participates in Paris at the Arte Italiana exhibition of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; in 1937 he exhibited some engravings at the Anthology of Contemporary Italian Drawing at the “Cometa Art Gallery” in New York; in 1938 he was at the Ausstellung der Modernen Italienischen Kunst at the Kunsthall in Bern; in 1943 he organizes the exhibition Dux in his Cinquale house; in 1947 he took part in the exhibition Quarant’ans d’art italien: du futurisme à nos jours at the Cantonal Museum of Lausanne; in 1949 at the exhibition Italian Contemporary Painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna; in 1950 a large exhibition was organized in Brussels at the “Petite Galerie of Séminaire des Arts” at the Palais des Beaux-Arts; in 1951 he took part for the first time at the Biennial of São Paulo in Brazil, where he will return in 1953 and in 1955, when he will receive the award of the Italian Club; in 1955 he exhibited at the first edition of the Biennale dell’Incisione of Venice (Mostra dell’Incisione Italiana Contemporanea), in which he will participate six more times, with a solo exhibition of 45 works in 1965; in 1956 he exhibited at the “Galleria L’Indiano” of Florence, presented by Ottone Rosai and at the III National Exhibition of Costume Graphics of the VIII “Golfo della Spezia” National Painting Award; in the same year he is also in Ljubljana, Munich, Athens, Verona and at the Italian Institute of Cologne; in 1963 in New York at the “Gallery 63 Inc.”. In 1967 he takes part in Palazzo Strozzi in Florence at the Arte Moderna exhibition in Italy from 1915 to 1935; in 1968 the I Biennale di Grafica at Palazzo Strozzi in Florence dedicates him a tribute exhibition presented by Franco Russoli. In 1971 he took part in the exhibition Antologia della Caricatura Europea in Mantova; in 1974 at the Political and Satirical Design exhibition at the Municipal Gallery of Modern Art in Forte dei Marmi, presented by Michele de Micheli. In 1977 he was dedicated by the City of Siena, in the Loggia of the Palazzo Pubblico, an anthological exhibition with 178 works including paintings, watercolors, drawings and engravings. Mino Maccari works actively as an illustrator for various magazines and publications: in 1944 he illustrated with 22 drawings Totò il Buono by Cesare Zavattini (Bompiani Publisher); in 1949 with 53 drawings La Coda di Paglia by Alfonso Gatto; in 1951, with 48 etchings, Bestie del 900 by Aldo Palazzeschi (Vallecchi Publisher); in 1959 with drawings and watercolors L’onesta’ muore di freddo by Luca Canali (Cino Del Duca Publisher); in 1960 he illustrated with drawings Fatti Inquiteanti by Rodolfo Wilcock (Bompiani Publisher) and L’Unghia dell’asino by Augusto Frassineti (Graziani Publisher); in 1962 I sonetti del Burchiello, Candido and other stories by Voltaire for Armando Curcio publisher and Canzonette and television trip by Mario Soldati (Mondadori publisher). In 1965 with 48 drawings he works on the volume Otto settembre letterati in fuga by Vincenzo Talarico published by Canesi. In 1951 he took care of the scenografies and costumes of Rossini’s Turco in Italia and of the Commedia su Ponte di Martinu for the XIV International Festival of Contemporary Music in Venice. In 1964 for the XXVII Maggio Fiorentino took care of the scenography and costumes of Il naso di Sciostakòvich. The same set design and the same costumes will then be taken up again in 1972 at the Teatro della Scala in Milan under the direction of Eduardo De Filippo. In 1965 he worked for the “Piccolo Teatro” of Milan to the sets and costumes of the Mr. of Porceaugnac of Molière, always under the direction of Eduardo De Filippo. He died in Rome on June 16, 1989 and was buried in the cemetery of the City of Montignoso, which dedicated a square in Cinquale. The City of Siena in 1998 dedicates a plaque in the place of his birth.