Giuseppe Capogrossi

Giuseppe Capogrossi

Giuseppe Capogrossi was born on 7 March 1900 in Rome. After graduating in law in 1922, he decided to dedicate himself to painting, studying first with Giambattista Conti, an expert in frescoes, then with Felice Carena. He also began a long-standing friendship with the painter Emanuele Cavalli. In 1925 he attended the House of Art Bragaglia and between 1927 and 1933 he went several times to Paris, where he was impressed by the works of Pablo Picasso, Amedeo Modigliani and Pierre-Auguste Renoir.
In 1928 he was invited to the Venice Biennale. In 1932 he took part in the "III Mostra del Sindacato Regionale Fascista Belle Arti del Lazio", Rome, with paintings influenced by this Parisian influence. At the beginning of 1933 he exhibited with Cavalli and Corrado Cagli (as part of the Roman School) at the Galleria del Milione in Milan, epicenter of Italian abstraction. The soft colors and the subtle geometry of the shapes of these works seem to recall the frescoes studied earlier. Capogrossi participates in the major exhibitions of the thirties dedicated to Italian art, such as the "Exposition des peintres romains" of 1933 in Paris and the Quadriennale di Roma of 1935, thanks to which it imposes itself on critics as one of the protagonists of the renewal of Roman painting. In 1939 the Quadriennale dedicated a personal room to him.
His first abstractions date back to the post-war period and in 1949 already express a well-articulated personal vocabulary of a post-war matrixcubist who formalizes a sign language of comb-shaped matrices articulated with logic and freedom in his compositions and that bring him closer to the Informal. In 1951 with Mario Ballocco, Alberto Burri, Ettore Colla founded the Gruppo Origine, with the aim of promoting the ideals of abstraction, including an expressive simplification. In the meantime, continue teaching. He participated in Documenta, Kassel, in 1955 and 1959, and in 1974 the National Gallery of Modern Art in Rome dedicated him an impressive retrospective, two years after his death in Rome on 9 October 1972.