Osvaldo Licini

Osvaldo Licini

Licini was born in Monte Vidon Corrado on 22nd March 1894 and died there on 11th October 1958. He was a very eclectic artist and after his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna, he was fascinated with avant-garde and started attending cultural French salons, where he became friend of Modigliani. His works were immediately appreciated and displayed in three ‘Salons d’Automne’ and in three ‘Salons des indipéndants’ and in an exhibition of Italian painters in Paris, which was organized by Mario Tozzi. Being of a restless nature, he married the Swedish painter Nanny Hellstrom in 1925 and he decided to go back to his home town, where he lived in isolation until his death, with the exception of some trips to Paris, Sweden and other European countries. Licini has explored the area of symbolist-visionary figuration, but has focused particular attention on the essence of colour and sign, reaching the total upset of shapes and abstractionism in the ‘30s. As it often happens, when an artist abandons a kind of research to experiment another, Licini furiously rejected his own production of the past to venture on a new experience. He took part in the group of Gallery Il Milione together with Fontana, Reggiani, Soldati, Veronesi, Melotti, Ghiringhelli and in 1935, in the study of Casorati and Paolucci in Turin, he participated in the ‘first collective exhibition of abstract Italian art’. From the ‘50s to his death, Licini gave himself to his imaginary world and created his ‘rebellious angels’ and ‘Amalasunte’ in a fantastic dimension in continuous expansion as if the artist were inspired by an occult force. The page ‘rebels’ against its definition and started a raving which led to the essential. At Biennial in 1958, shortly before his death, Licini was introduced by Apollonio and he awarded the International Grand Prize for painting: this is a late acknowledgement which however returns him to history of art of the 20th Century at the height of his value and nowadays, through Brescia’s exhibition, to the Italian public as well.

Official website of Osvaldo Licini