In 1993 Franco and Roberta Calarota organized an innovative and important exhibition about Gino Severini's art, entitled Gino Severini: the rule, the mask, the sacred. In the main exhibition venue of Galleria d'Arte Maggiore g.a.m. in Bologna they built "La Sala delle Maschere / The Room of the Masks": the original and entire room of the Montegufoni Castle frescoed by Severini in the 1921, commisioned by George Sitwell, owner of the castle.
Gino Severini (Cortona, 1883 - Paris, 1966)
Already equipped with a rigorous technique since the early 1900s (Via di Porta Pinciana at sunset, 1903), when he moved to Rome he became friend with Umberto Boccioni and in the atelier of Giacomo Balla, together with Luigi Russolo and Carlo Carrà, he signed the Manifesto of Futurist painting in 1910. After a journey in Paris where he became friend with Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque and Juan Gris, Severini's Futurism felt under the influence of Cubism: the different visions, given by the analytical decomposition of the subject, find a balance into geometry. If the main subject for the Futurists are progress and the machine, Severini draws inspiration from cabarets and night clubs (Danse de l'ours, 1913-14; Danseuse dans la lumière, 1913-14). The choice was also determined by experimenting with collage and opens its potential to Dadaists and Surrealists.
Later Severini felt the need to respond to a different type of inspiration, more tied to rediscovering the intrinsic value of numbers in order to apply it to a new art-science relationship: Severini stands in the perspective of giving a rule to intuition and thus he joins the group of Valori Plastici, a magazine founded in 1918 by Mario Broglio (Paniers de raisins et bouteille, 1919; Still life with roses and fruit, 1919).
In 1921 he published the booklet Du Cubisme au classicisme, where he tried to legitimize Cubism by explaining how the artist should work knowing geometry perfectly.
Severini returned to Paris in 1923 and, animated by a newfound Catholic faith, he dedicated himself to sacred art and mosaic. They are ways, for him, to find the traces of Masaccio, Piero della Francesca, Paolo Uccello and Luca Signorelli: these artists are part of his "Tuscan" side and help him represent the "sacred" as such, rather than the sacred episode. This is exactly what happened with the dancers of 1913, which represented not the subject itself, but the dynamic sensation they show.
In 1932 he participated in the Venice Biennial with the Italian group in Paris. His first important retrospective takes place in Amsterdam at the Huinck & Sherjon Gallery: the immediate success on the market still explains the great presence of Severini's works in many Dutch collections.
In 1935 he won the Painting Prize at the Quadriennale di Roma (in addition to the French Legion of Honor in the same year) and settled in the capital. During the conflict, the painter was in Rome and was especially attracted to Matisse's still life paintings and thought, from which he absorbed the aptitude to bring out the "expression" from the work, translating it as the complex in which the shapes are arranged and all the lines are drawn, as well as the alternation between full and empty spaces.
He died on February 26, 1966 in Paris.
The artist's works are exhibited in all the major Italian museum, among them: GNAM - National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art (Rome), GAM (Turin), Museum of the Etruscan Academy (Cortona), Peggy Guggenheim Collection (Venice). Internationally speaking, Museum de Fundatie (Netherlands), Guggenheim Museum (New York), MoMa - Museum of Modern Art (New York) also have some of his works.