Libri di Elena Pontiggia - libri Johan & Levi Editore

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Elena Pontiggia

author
Johan & Levi
Storica dell’arte, è professore di Storia dell’Arte Contemporanea all'Accademia di Brera e, a contratto, alla Facoltà di Architettura del Politecnico. Si occupa in particolare dell’arte italiana e internazionale fra le due guerre e del rapporto fra modernità e classicità. Collabora con La Stampa e varie riviste, e ha curato numerose mostre sull’arte italiana del Novecento: l’ultima, “Sironi. Sintesi e grandiosità”, al Museo del Novecento di Milano con Anna Maria Mondaldo. Tra le sue pubblicazioni, Modernità e classicità. Il Ritorno all’ordine in Europa (2008, premio Carducci 2009), Christian Schad (2015), De Chirico. Lettere 1909-1929 (2018) e Storia del Novecento italiano (2021).

Author's books

A prodigious sculptor skilled in creating images and narrating myths, Arturo Martini (1889-1947) gave himself over entirely to this “mysterious and egoistic” art that saps the energy of those who practise it, as the artist himself wrote.  A life without epic moments is completely given over to reinventing the iconography, to the extent that he could have said, with the poet Lucio Piccolo, “life comes to me in images”. A childhood afflicted by poverty and family arguments in a Treviso that was still mediaeval, the early talent at modelling clay, his employment while still a young boy in a goldsmith’s workshop, the unexpected bursary that allowed him to study in Venice with the sculptor Urbano Nono – these were the early milestones in the life of an individual born “in wretched circumstances” who was however destined to renew the plastic arts. The trajectory of his life then took him to Munich in 1909, a difficult time economically but with plenty of stimuli, and to Paris in 1912. At the same time, he was also one of the “rebels” of Ca’ Pesaro and was a signatory to Futurism. By the end of the war, Martini was already thirty years old and, although recognized as one of the best interpreters of the new classic ideals as represented in Novecento and Valori Plastici, he still struggled to maintain himself and his wife Brigida. Only as he approached 40 was he able to enjoy a period of happiness that coincided in 1930 with falling in love with Egle, and in 1931 with the legendary prize of 100,000 lire at the Quadriennale di Roma. In this period, he produced magnificent work in terracotta and executed new masterpieces in stone and in bronze. His period of serenity, however, came to an end with a volte-face. At the peak of his fame, and with unprecedented rage, Martini railed against sculpture and accused it of being a “dead language”. To this inexplicable rejection was added, mercilessly, illness and the humiliation of having to undergo a purge in 1945, which weakened him to the point that he died just short of 58 years old. Elena Pontiggia narrates the everyday and artistic events in Martini’s life with exemplary lucidity and clarity, embellishing the book with new information that sheds a new light on his artistic development.
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Arturo Martini

La vita in figure

Elena Pontiggia

pages: 304 pages

A prodigious sculptor skilled in creating images and narrating myths, Arturo Martini (1889-1947) gave himself over entirely to this “mysterious and egoistic” art that saps the energy of those who practise it, as the artist himself wrote.  A life without epic moments is completely given over to reinventing the iconography, to the extent that he
In Sironi's words, "Art does not need to be nice, it needs to be great", and what better way to describe his own paintings: depictions of city scenes as forbidding yet impressive as modern cathedrals. A Futurist from 1913, in the 1920s Mario Sironi (Sassari 1885 – Milan 1961) began painting the bleaker side of city life and contemporary society, creating cityscapes that nonetheless possess the dignity of classical architecture and monumental figures with the poise of ancient portraiture. With his modern take on classicism, he was one of the leading artists between the two wars: first with the Italian Novecento movement, which formed in Milan in 1922; then with the visionary dream of reviving fresco and mosaic.A personal friend of Mussolini's and early adopter of Fascism, Sironi's mural paintings of the 1930s gave form to the nationalist and social doctrine of the regime, though not its racial laws, which he never approved of. Yet his first love remained the decorative art of antiquity, inspired by witnessing "the magnificent ghosts of classical art" during his youth in Rome. And in any case, his powerful, harrowing works never became an art of state.Life was not kind to Sironi, who lost his father when he was only thirteen. He not only lived through the war but also depression, poverty, family problems, artistic controversy, and overwork to the point of burnout. He survived the fall of Fascism and the disintegration of his political ideals, only narrowly avoiding a summary execution (thanks to the intervention of Gianni Rodari, a member of the resistance but admirer of his), and experienced the tragic loss of his daughter Rossana, who committed suicide at the age of 18 in 1948. Yet his art represented a stubborn creative act in the face of life's (existential and historical) vicissitudes; at least until his late period, when, deserted by his dreams and illusions, he painted crumbling cities and visions of the Apocalypse.
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Mario Sironi

La grandezza dell'arte, le tragedie della storia

Elena Pontiggia

pages: 304 pages

In Sironi's words, "Art does not need to be nice, it needs to be great", and what better way to describe his own paintings: depictions of city scenes as forbidding yet impressive as modern cathedrals. A Futurist from 1913, in the 1920s Mario Sironi (Sassari 1885 – Milan 1961) began painting the bleaker side of city life and contemporary society,
 

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