Aligi Sassu

Milan, Italy, 1912 − Pollença, Mallorca, 2000

Painter, sculptor and ceramicist. As a young man he discovered and studied the futurist movement and in 1928, at the age of sixteen, he was invited to take part in the Venice Biennial. He established a relationship with the futurists, with whom he exhibited on several different occasions, and from whom he received a great deal of influence, above all from Marinetti and his theories. In 1929 he began to distance himself from the postulated futurists to return to the realist tradition and develop more traditional themes, such as mythology, landscape, cycling, festivals and horses, among others.

He studied the renovation of Ligurian ceramics with Lucio Fontana and from 1950 on started out in sculpture, frescoes and mosaic, creating numerous murals in Sardinia, Liguria, Naples and Pescara. From 1962 until his death he alternated his residence between Pollença (Mallorca), Lugano and Milan. His painting draws abundant inspiration from the scenery of the island, often treated with generous chromaticism and lyricism. In 1984 an exhibition in the Palazzo Reale of Milan was dedicated to him and in this same year, an anthological exhibition was held in the Palazzo dei Diamanti in Ferrara. In 1988 he inaugurated an anthological exhibition in La Llotja in Palma. He has received numerous prizes and distinctions, outstanding from among which are his appointment as Ciutadà d’Honor by the Ajuntament de Palma (1987), the Medalla de Oro del Círculo de Bellas Artes in Palma (1997) and the Medalla Ramon Llull of the Govern de les Illes Balears (1997). In 1997 the Fondazione Aligi Sassu e Helenita Olivares was inaugurated in Lugano to preserve his legacy. He has works in numerous public and private collections, such as those of the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Havana, the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow, the Galleria Internazionale d’Arte Moderna di Ca’Pesaro in Venice and the Ajuntament de Palma, among others.