Marino Marini was born in Pistoia in 1901. In 1917 he enrolled in the Florence Accademia di Belle Arti where he followed courses in painting taught by Galileo Chini and sculpture by Domenico Trentacoste. These early years of artistic activity in Via degli Artisti were mainly devoted to painting and drawing. Marini's first important sculpture, Popolo (in terracotta), was produced in 1929, the same year in which he was invited by Arturo Martini to move to Milan and teach at Villa Reale in Monza. This was also the year in which he exhibited in Nice with the Novecento group and undertook his first trip to Paris. His first solo exhibition was in Milan in 1932 and in 1935 he won first prize at the Rome Quadriennale.
In 1938 he married Mercedes Pedrazzini (affectionately nicknamed Marina) who was to be a constant and explicit presence in his artistic personality.
Marini leftVilla Reale in 1940 for the chair of sculpture at the Brera Academy which he held until 1943 when the war (which had led to the destruction of his studio) caused him to retreat to the Swiss Canton of Ticino which was the birthplace of his wife. This time was rich in contacts with both old and new friends from Paris such as Wotruba, Germaine Richier, Giacometti, Haller and Banninger. There are many portraits in bronze and plaster from this period and in 1944 Marini exhibited at the Kunstmuseum in Basle.
When the war was over Marini returned to his previous existence in Milan, reopening his studio and taking up his teaching job at Brera again. At the 24th Venice Biennale in 1948 a room was dedicated to his works. He met Henry Moore, with whom he formed a lifelong friendship, and Curt Valentin, the American merchant who organised an exhibition for him in New York in 1950. The Accademia dei Lincei awarded him the Feltrinelli prize in 1952 and in 1957 the Hague city council commissioned a large equestrian group, a copy of which is on display in San Pancrazio.
More and more personal exhibitions followed in northern Europe and Marini intensified his output of paintings (an area of activity which he had never abandoned) in the mid 60s. In 1973 the Marino Museum exhibition was inaugurated in the Civica Galleria d'Arte Moderna in Milan with an important collection of portraits. A permanent display was dedicated to him at the Neue Pinakothen in Munich in 1976, in 1978 an exhibition of paintings and sculptures was taken to Japan and in 1979 a documentation centre for his works was set up in Pistoia.
Marino Marini died in Viareggio in 1980.
Biography: (b Pistoia, 27 Feb 1901; d Viareggio, 6 Aug 1980). Italian sculptor, painter, draughtsman and printmaker. He studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence, joining in 1917 the classes in engraving and painting given by Galileo Chini and in 1922 those in sculpture under Domenico Trentacoste. He drew small subjects from life, such as flowers, birds and insects, and he also modelled and painted. After military service in 1924, he settled in Florence, where he opened his first studio. He worked intensively, experimenting with different materials, from terracotta to wood and plaster combined with paint, which he also sometimes used with bronze in order to accentuate forms and express movement. Marini made his début as a sculptor in 1928, when he exhibited at La mostra del Novecento toscano at the Galleria Milano in Milan. His sculptures of this period were free of any ornament or descriptive detail: they referred to history and occasionally to the fascinating symbolism of Roman and Etruscan statuary, or the Etruscan-inspired sculpture of Arturo Martini or the traditions of the Tuscan Quattrocento. Marini’s work developed a mysterious mythical quality, for example in People (1929; Milan, Gal. A. Mod.), a small, coloured terracotta statue.
Italian Artist Marino Marini. 1901-1980 - Marino Marini was born in Pistoia, Italy. He began his fine arts career in Florence, where he studied painting, graphic techniques and sculpture at the Accademia di Belle Arti. Between 1929 and 1940, Marini taught at the art school in Monza. He was made Professor of Sculpture at the Brera Academy in Milan in 1940, for although he had begun his career primarily as a painter, by 1931 he had turned to sculpture, the medium for which he is now best known.
However, Marini prepared for his sculptured pieces by making numerous sketches in many media-pen drawings, lithographs, gouaches, and oil paintings. His three-dimensional sculptures are done in plaster, wood, or bronze, and occasionally in stone. By using a great variety of different media, Marini expresses emotions through color, form, and with a plasticity that in its polychromatic range and its archaic simplicity of shape goes back through the centuries to very early Chinese figurines and Etruscan or Greco-Roman sculpture. His colors are bright: dark wine-reds, purples, and mottled whites, or deep blues, grays, and browns. His themes are few: portrait heads, female figures, and the horse or horse and rider.
Marini's works are noble, rhythmic, and strikingly dynamic. Since 1955 he has become more and more dramatic, roughening the surfaces of his sculptured pieces, distorting their masses, and creating etchings and lithographs as well as paintings with a style, a purity of line that is extremely moving.