Venedig 1907 -
In 1907 Guiseppe Santomaso was born as a goldsmith's son in Venice. Santomaso began his artistic training at the Venice Academy of Fine Arts in 1932 and was invited to participate at the Venice Biennale only two years later. During the mid thirties Santomaso began to look into avant-garde art. At first he studied the art magazine 'Verve'. In 1937 he was able to go on a trip to Holland, where he studied the Impressionists and Fauves. Santomaso visited the Paris World Expositions. The artist was both impressed and irritated by the works of Matisse, Braque, Bonnard and Picasso shown in the French art metropolis. In 1939 Santomas held his first solo exhibition at the 'Rive Gauche' gallery. During the war the artist managed to concentrate on painting, in 1942 he illustrated Paul Eluard's collection of poems 'Grand Air' and a year later he contributed to the Art Quadriennale in Rome. In 1946 Santomaso made an important contribution to founding the progressive Italian art group 'Nuova Secessione Artistica Italiana', which was later renamed 'Fronte Nuovo delle Arti'. Here, Guiseppe Santomaso fought hard for a position between illustrative realism and pure abstraction. The artist's tendency towards classical Modernism was first expressed in a subject-oriented symbolist language reminiscent of Braque and Léger. In the early fifties he began to look into Art informel. This is reflected in his increasingly abstract compositions. His pictures contain compositions of architectonic clearness, in the mid seventies these were interspersed with constructional elements of the Venecian Palazzi and inspired by the incomparable colors of Venice. Up to his death in 1990 Santomaso taught at the Venetian art academy and from 1954 to 1974 he contributed to the Venice Biennale thirteen times, was invited to 'documenta' three times and took part in numerous national and international exhibitions.