Arturo Martini




Arturo Martini was born on August 11, 1889 in Treviso, Italy. Between 1906 and 1907 Martini studied in Treviso under Antonio Carlini, a local sculptor, and subsequently continued his education at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Venice with sculptor Urbano Nono. Upon completing his formal training Martini embarked on a series of study trips, which led him to Munich in 1909 and Paris in 1912. The visit to the French capital proved especially fruitful as seven of Martini’s carvings were displayed at the Salon d’Automne in 1912. In this period the sculptor also participated in numerous exhibitions organized by the art critic Nino Barbantini at the Ca’ Pesaro in Venice.

In 1916 Martini moved to Milan where he made the acquaintance of Margherita Sarfatti and Carlo Carrà. Both had a significant impact on his career. Sarfatti supported and promoted his work while Carrà introduced him to the Valori Plastici group, with whom he exhibited at the Fiorentina Primaverile in Florence in 1922. After marrying Brigida Pessano in 1921, Martini settled in Vado Ligure, but traveled frequently to Rome. From the mid-twenties dates Martini’s collaboration with American sculptor Maurice Sterne on a large monument for the city of Worcester in Massachusetts. In 1926 Martini exhibited at the Prima Mostra del Novecento Italiano at the Palazzo della Permanente in Milan.

Starting in 1929 Martini taught at the Istituto Statale delle Industrie Artistiche in Monza, where he remained for two years - Marino Marini and Mirko Basaldella were among his students. In 1931 he was awarded the prize for sculpture at the Quadriennale in Rome and the following year his solo room at the Venice Biennale received critical approval. Beginning in 1933 Martini undertook a number of important public commissions, including a bronze sculpture of the Cristo Re for the homonymous Roman church and a high-relief in Carrara marble La Giustizia corporativa for the Palazzo di Giustizia in Milan. In 1938 Martini turned his attention to painting, but resumed his sculptural practice shortly afterwards. In 1942 he accepted a teaching post at the Accademia in Venice and befriended Carlo Scarpa and Mario Deluigi, who this same year designed the installation of his solo room at the Venice Biennale. In 1945 Martini published his book La scultura lingua morta, which had a strong impact on a younger generation of artists. Arturo Martini died in Milan on March 22, 1947.

credits: Hangar Design Group