Roberto Crippa
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Roberto Crippa, Gaetano Crippa at the regisstry office, born in Monza on May 7, 1921. Driven by his passion for flying, he enlisted at a very young age in the Italian Air Force participating in several war missions as a fighter pilot returning unscathed to the base. He attended the Brera Academy of Fine Arts, where he was a pupil of Aldo Carpi, Achille Funi and Carlo Carrà, graduating in 1947. He began painting in 1945 in a figurative style with Cubist influences. In 1948 he participated in the Venice Biennale and exhibited works at the Triennale of Milano. He joined the space movement of Lucio Fontana with Gian Carozzi, Giorgio Kaisserlian, Beniamino Joppolo, Milena Milani, Sergio Dangelo, Carlo Cardazzo, Cesare Peverelli and was one of the signatories of the third "Manifesto of Spatialism" (Proposal of a Regulation) of 1950. Again in 1950, 1954 and 1956 he was present at the Venice Biennae and also in 1950 exhibited in Trieste during a collective entitled Space Art. Crippa's work at the beginning of the fifties centered around a series of paintings called Spirals,geometric and abstract: with the almost-circular geometric gesture (but never perfectly round) Crippa created involuted spaces, from which rays were generated that ideally projected themselves out of the two-dimensionality of the canvas, in line with the principles of the spatialist "Manifesto". Became known abroad for his works, Crippa reached New York where he met surrealists Max Ernst, Victor Brauner and Yves Tanguy and exhibited at Alexander Iolas' gallery. The next step in Crippa's pictorial journey was the Totem,inspired by African art, in which spirals were tangled around a central totemic figure, hence the name of Totem.  In 1955 he moved on to the production of polymatter works that populated a solo exhibition at the Naviglio Gallery in Milan. The following year the inspiration for polymatter paintings was further developed with the production of works in iron, bronze, steel inspired by primitive symbolism. With these works he participated in the Venice Biennale of 1958.  The use of original materials in 1960 led to the production of works in asbestos, cork, newsprint and tissue, combined with different materials and colors. The works were exhibited in a traveling exhibition that reached Japan, the United States and Australia. In 1962 he was the victim of an initial flight accident that left him in a wheelchair for a year, although he participated with his paintings in several exhibitions in Europe and the United States. The following year the artist, fully recovered, participated in the Biennial of Venice and Menton. In this phase Crippa moved on to paint landscapes (Landscape), with the polymatric technique and with the usual abstract style. Also from this period are the amiantites,not-painted made with thin sheets of asbestos applied on an engraved table.  In 1967 the State of Rhodesia dedicated a postage stamp to Crippa. In the 1970s Roberto Crippa also dealt with postal art (mail art). A postcard of his, addressed to Eraldo Di Vita in Milan, is also published in his monograph.  In 1972, during a flight to prepare for the World Air Acrobatics Championships, Crippa's plane crashed around Bresso airport; the artist and his pupil Piero Crespi lost their lives.

Tags: Roberto Crippa - Crippa - Spatialism - spiral - totem - corks -landscape - amiantites