The Artist

Roberto Marcello Baldessari

The Artist

Roberto Marcello Baldessari

1894 – March 23. He was born in Innsbruck. Immediately afterwards, following the anti-Italian movements, the Baldessari family left Innsbruck. In Rovereto (then Austria) the father bought the Caffè Accademia, which soon became a center of Italianism and Irredentism.

1904/1908 – In the years of his adolescence in Rovereto the drawing professor Luigi Comel saw his drawings and convinced his father to enroll him in the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice. There he had as masters Guglielmo Ciardi for painting, and Emanuele Brugnoli, for engraving.

1914 – He graduated. He won the Scala dell’Accademia Award for landscape. He adhered to Futurism and realized the first experimental paintings by studying the “masters”: Carrà and especially Boccioni.

1915 – He moved with his family to Florence, where he was a student of the S. Croce School of Art. Shortly thereafter his father died. At the Caffè “Giubbe Rosse” he had his first contacts with the Florentine Futurists.

1916 – Activities with the Futurists of the Tuscan group: Primo Conti, Achille Lega, Emilio Notte, Ottone Rosai, etc. His futurist style, after experimenting with the masters and looking at cubism, began to take shape. First futuristic engravings. Travel to Milan and contacts with Marinetti and the Lombard Futurists.

1918 – Assiduous work in contact with the futurist climate. Collaboration with “Futurist Rome”.

1919 – He was in Milan for the preparation of the “Great National Futurist Exhibition” of Palazzo Cova, in which he participated with 14 paintings. The exhibition moved then to Genoa.

1920 – Stay in Padua. Futurist solo exhibition at the “Triveneta”. Travels to the Baltic and North Sea countries. Friendship with Herwarth Walden.

1921 – He participated in the Futurist Exhibition in Paris.

1922/23 – Again in Germany, he met and became friend with Liebermann and Archipenko, Justus Bier, Vordemberge-Gildevart. He also met Kurt Schwitters and helped to build the Merzbau.

1923/1924 – He brought his painting to experiences of cosmic synthesis and, thanks to the attendance of Vordemberge-Gildevart (of the “Abstracts of Hannover” group), also to abstract compositions.

1925 – Return to Italy and definitive deployment on the figurative front.

1934 – Short return to Futurism. In Hamburg, at the “Italian Aeropainting Exhibition” he presented two works dating back to 1923/24: ” Alta velocità – High speed” and “Spirale tricolore su Roma – Tricolour Spiral over Rome”.

1939 – He fled to Switzerland, in Morcote, because he was wanted by the OVRA as Picasso had included him in the organization chart of the Socialist International. He remained there throughout the war.

1945 – Towards the end of the year he returned to Rovereto.

1950 – He was invited and participated with three works in the “Futurismus und Metaphysik” exhibition in Zurich.

1957 – Rinaldo Corti’s small monograph on his more mature futurist period (1916-1924) was released and in this way started his re-evaluation.

1961 – There began the series of collective and personal exhibitions of works (paintings, drawings, engravings) of the futurist period.

1962 – The first critical monograph, – Roberto Marcello Baldessari. Pittore ed incisore. –  by Riccardo Maroni was published with autobiographical notes by the artist.  Then followed a large personal exhibition with futurist works and a color illustrated catalog at the Toninelli Gallery in Milan. In addition Baldessari was included with nine reproductions of his works in the Futurist Archives, curated by M. Drudi Gambillo and T. Fiori.

1965 – Baldessari died in Rome, on June 22nd, already undermined by a serious illness.

1894 – March 23. He was born in Innsbruck. Immediately afterwards, following the anti-Italian movements, the Baldessari family left Innsbruck. In Rovereto (then Austria) the father bought the Caffè Accademia, which soon became a center of Italianism and Irredentism.

1904/1908 – In the years of his adolescence in Rovereto the drawing professor Luigi Comel saw his drawings and convinced his father to enroll him in the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice. There he had as masters Guglielmo Ciardi for painting, and Emanuele Brugnoli, for engraving.

1914 – He graduated. He won the Scala dell’Accademia Award for landscape. He adhered to Futurism and realized the first experimental paintings by studying the “masters”: Carrà and especially Boccioni.

1915 – He moved with his family to Florence, where he was a student of the S. Croce School of Art. Shortly thereafter his father died. At the Caffè “Giubbe Rosse” he had his first contacts with the Florentine Futurists.

1916 – Activities with the Futurists of the Tuscan group: Primo Conti, Achille Lega, Emilio Notte, Ottone Rosai, etc. His futurist style, after experimenting with the masters and looking at cubism, began to take shape. First futuristic engravings. Travel to Milan and contacts with Marinetti and the Lombard Futurists.

1918 – Assiduous work in contact with the futurist climate. Collaboration with “Futurist Rome”.

1919 – He was in Milan for the preparation of the “Great National Futurist Exhibition” of Palazzo Cova, in which he participated with 14 paintings. The exhibition moved then to Genoa.

1920 – Stay in Padua. Futurist solo exhibition at the “Triveneta”. Travels to the Baltic and North Sea countries. Friendship with Herwarth Walden.

1921 – He participated in the Futurist Exhibition in Paris.

1922/23 – Again in Germany, he met and became friend with Liebermann and Archipenko, Justus Bier, Vordemberge-Gildevart. He also met Kurt Schwitters and helped to build the Merzbau.

1923/1924 – He brought his painting to experiences of cosmic synthesis and, thanks to the attendance of Vordemberge-Gildevart (of the “Abstracts of Hannover” group), also to abstract compositions.

1925 – Return to Italy and definitive deployment on the figurative front.

1934 – Short return to Futurism. In Hamburg, at the “Italian Aeropainting Exhibition” he presented two works dating back to 1923/24: ” Alta velocità – High speed” and “Spirale tricolore su Roma – Tricolour Spiral over Rome”.

1939 – He fled to Switzerland, in Morcote, because he was wanted by the OVRA as Picasso had included him in the organization chart of the Socialist International. He remained there throughout the war.

1945 – Towards the end of the year he returned to Rovereto.

1950 – He was invited and participated with three works in the “Futurismus und Metaphysik” exhibition in Zurich.

1957 – Rinaldo Corti’s small monograph on his more mature futurist period (1916-1924) was released and in this way started his re-evaluation.

1961 – There began the series of collective and personal exhibitions of works (paintings, drawings, engravings) of the futurist period.

1962 – The first critical monograph, – Roberto Marcello Baldessari. Pittore ed incisore. –  by Riccardo Maroni was published with autobiographical notes by the artist.  Then followed a large personal exhibition with futurist works and a color illustrated catalog at the Toninelli Gallery in Milan. In addition Baldessari was included with nine reproductions of his works in the Futurist Archives, curated by M. Drudi Gambillo and T. Fiori.

1965 – Baldessari died in Rome, on June 22nd, already undermined by a serious illness.

Futurist Training

 

Definition of Baldessari’s Style

Baldessari in Romagna

The first World War and beyond

Post-war time: Futurism and Avant-garde

Return to the figurative and then Futurism again

One more war. The last years