Tuesday, April 7, 2015
Gino Severini was born in Italy, to a junior clerk father and a dressmaker mother. At the age of 15, he was expelled from the Suola Tecnia for stealing exam papers. He found work in Rome as a shipping clerk and began to attend free art classes.
In 1900 he met the painter Giacomo Balla and learned the technique of Divisionism (painting adjacent colors and dividing the surfaces with dots and stripes). This technique influenced his move into Futurism, an art form that started in Italy and glorified speed, technology, youth, violence, and all things modern.
Six years later he moved to Paris where he was "intellectually and spiritually" reborn. While living in Montmarte he became friends with many Parisian avant-garde artists including George Braque, Albert Gleizes, Amedo Modigliani, Pablo Picasso and Suzanne Valadon. He began to paint in a synthetic cubist style, which integrated "high art" with "low art" (art made for commercial purposes like packaging and advertising). Synthetic Cubism is considered by many to be the first Pop Art.
In the post-war era, Severini's work became more abstract, and he returned to his futurist subjects of dancers, light, and movement.
The Art Museum at UK is fortunate to have this Severini screenprint in our permanent collection.
GINO SEVERINI, Woman on Horseback, pochair and screenprint on paper, (18 1/8 x 12 3/4"),
from the collection of The Art Museum at UK, 1939.1.18