Mario Tozzi
Artistic currents
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Mario Tozzi was born in Fossombrone on October 30, 1895, but at the age of five he moved with his family to Suna, which is a Piedmont place on the shore of Lake Maggiore, where his father practices the profession of doctor. He was started by his father towards the studies of chemistry that he abandoned in 1913 to enroll in the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna where he met Morandi and Licini. He graduated in 1915 and was sent to war. He emerges alive from the war but loses two of his brothers. In 1919 he was discharged, moved to Paris, which was then the landing point of European artists, and got acquainted with other Italian artists, Campigli, de Chirico, De Pisis and others with whom he founded the "Group of Seven". He exhibited at a very young age, in 1920, at the Salon d'Automne and at the Salon des Tuileries where he was immediately noticed by critics. Mario Tozzi began a hectic exhibition activity until 1935. In the works of this period Mario Tozzi reinterprets classical subjects according to a modern balance and intellectual order, where it is not the eye that give meaning to images but the thought. Mario Tozzi then works an evolution of the artistic season of the early twentieth century without matching it with the classical tradition. In fact, Mario Tozzi's favorite subjects are, classically, figures and still lifes, but both figures and still lifes are a set of solid geometric elements, the sphere, the cylinder, the cone, etc. The bodies are elementary, essential in lines and details, powerful, statuesque, composed of newly modeled solids, while still lifes are a celebration of Euclidean geometry such as jugs, bowls, flaschis that are paradigms of volumetria and geometric rigor. Mario Tozzi's compositions suffer from Cubism for certain cuts, Metaphysics for certain architectural insertions and Abstractism for the insertion of geometric figures. In the performance of the works Mario Tozzi prefers chiaroscuro to enhance the volumetria of the figures and as a medium a dough dense with pigments and glue. In 1936 Mario Tozzi returned to Italy and settled in Rome performing a series of frescoes in both Rome and Milan. But he begins to have health problems that will soon increase until he is forced to stop the activity. He recovered in the late 1950s and in 1960 moved back to Suna in his childhood home. Here Mario Tozzi resumes painting creating the said cycle of Suna from this place of residence. He takes up the same motifs as the Parisian period, but in this case Mario Tozzi performs stylized figures: the faces, usually of maidens, are an oval, the eyes two elongated incisions, the nose a rectangle, the mouth a small slit, the neck elongated, the breasts two hemispheres, hair that ends up on the nape in a braid or in a ponytail. The background of the work is covered with a lumpy white dough not compact and on this background Mario Tozzi often performs silhouettes and always geometric figures. The color is earthy, as made of lands and glue. In his career Mario Tozzi participated in the Venice Biennials of 1938, 1942 1948, 1952, 1954. His works are in the most important public museums and European private collections. In 1971 Mario Tozzi returned to Paris to be close to his daughter, and on September 8, 1979, he died at his home in St. Jean du Gard.

Tags: Mario Tozzi - Suna