Arturo Carmassi


Picture Arturo Carmassi

Arturo Carmassi was born on the 2nd of July 1925 in Lucca. As a child, he moved to Turin with his family, where he studied and worked until 1952. He attended courses at the Fontanesi Landscape School and at the Accademia Albertina… Confronted with the cumbersome Historical Avant Garde traditions, he realised that from them one could learn the important lesson of expressive freedom. After travelling in Europe and living in Paris for a period, he moved to Milan where he became closer to Gino Ghiringhelli, owner of the Galleria Il Milione, who became his dealer. In 1956 he took on a studio in via Andegari, and worked assiduously on Informal pieces. The following year his work was acclaimed in important exhibitions abroad: at New York’s Brooklyn Museum, at the Sculpture Biennial in Antwerp, and at the “Junge Italianischen Plastik” in Darmstadt and Düsseldorf.
Halfway through the Fifties Carmassi developed an active interest in sculpture, and in the decade from 1955 to 1965 spent more and more time working as a sculptor, until he settled down in Liguria, at Bocca di Magra, where he set up a large sculpture studio and created large format pieces. These would be displayed in a personal exhibition three years later at the Venice Biennale. In ’66 Carmassi went on a trip to Brittany, and it is at this time that his surreal experience can be noted. It was then that he left Milan and retired into the Tuscan countryside, at Torre di Fucecchio between Florence, Pisa and Lucca, where he lives to this day.
The late Sixties saw his figurative world take on new characteristics… a fantastic, imaginative dimension to his work was born, where magic, mystery and the occult reigned. Halfway through the Seventies Carmassi showed an overwhelming interest in sculpture and also in lithography and copperplate engraving. The Eighties recognised Carmassi not only in the field of figurative arts, but also within the wider scope of the international cultural scene, and he was invited to take part in lectures all over the world in culture and communication. In 1992, the Galleria Il Ponte in Florence presented a show of his work from 1951 to 1961, and in 1994 presented a corpus of his work on paper from 1977 to 1994.
In the Nineties, the artist… underwent another turnaround, feeling the need to reduce his expressive means to the minimum possible, to lay his language bare… resulting in work that is presented as absolutely “modern” and where striving towards “modernity” is understood as an attempt and a need to be “current”.

For the latest exhibitions of the artist, please see the Appointments' Archive