Giacomo Manzù

Giacomo Manzù (Bergamo 1908 - 1991 Ardea)

Pseudonym of the Italian sculptor Giacomo Manzoni. After training as a craftsman as a carver, in 1930 he settled in Milan where he contributed, alongside Aligi Sassu and Renato Birolli, to developing the germs of the anti-Novecento reaction that would lead, in the years 1938-1940, to the Corrente movement. While his beginnings were influenced by the primitivism that was widespread at the time, the discovery of Medardo Rosso and a second trip to Paris in 1936 led him to a turning point: he abandoned archaic schemes, acquiring an original luministic sensitivity, plastic softness and delicate sensuality that were to become constant qualities of his style. Between 1938 and 1939, he created the series of Cardinals, hieratic bronze images with a schematic pyramid structure; and the cycle of bronze bas-reliefs, the Depositions and Crucifixions, from 1939-42, born out of his reaction to the deaf violence of war, perceived and denounced as an outrage against man. Manzù's lofty secular religiosity finds its poetic culmination in the Door of Death for St. Peter's: the preparatory drawings, the numerous sketches and the door itself together constitute a rich synthesis of all the inspirational elements of Manzù's work, and one of the greatest artistic complexes of contemporary art.

In 1984, our gallery published the volume Homage to Manzù, for the Italian editions of XXeme Siècle in Paris.

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