Marino Marini was born in Pistoia on the 27th February 1901.
In 1917, he registered at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence where he studied painting, graphics technical and sculpture. Although his main artistic production is devoted to sculpture, he would never give up the painting. Marini started to devote himself to sculpture around 1922, being especially captivated by the Etruscan and Greco-Roman works.
In 1928, the artist participated in the Venice’s Biennal with two bronzes sculptures. He was also included in the exposition of the “Gruppo del Novecento Italiano”, at the Milan Gallery, with ten bronzes and some terracotte. The notable “Blind Man” was one of the works there displayed.
In 1929, Marini held the chair of sculpture at the Scuola d’Arte di Villa Reale in Monza succeeding the well-known sculptor Arturo Martini. He maintained that position until 1940.
He took part in an exhibition at the “Fine Arts Society” in Nice with Carrà, De Chirico, Sironi, Martini and Modigliani, as well as at the Bonaparte Publishing House in Paris. The critic acclaimed unanimously his terracotta “The People”. From that year is the portrait made to the painter Alberto Magnelli as well as his first self-portrait.
In 1930, Marini created the wooden sculpture “Ersilia” which would indicate an essential step in his artistic expansion. He stayed in Paris for a few months and he met again his friends Campigli, Severini and De Chirico. He was also introduced to Picasso, Braque, Maillol, Lipchitz and Laurens. In 1931, he would return to Paris and would become acquainted with Tanguy, Kandinsky and Sánchez González del Valle.
In 1932, Marini was nominated member of the Florentine Accademia di Belle Arti.
In 1935, the artist participated in Rome’s “Quadriennale”, obtaining the first prize of sculpture.
He created his second bronze self-portrait and started to work into the Pomonas’subject.
In 1936, The Parisian «Editions des Chroniques du Jour » published a monographic number on Marini. In this year he started to work into his succession of “Riders”.
In 1937, Marini kept on travelling in Europe. In Paris, he won the Grand Prix at the “International Exhibition”. His wooden sculpture “The Boxer”, created in 1935, went into a French collection.
On the 14th December 1938 the artist married Mercedes Pedrazzini, who was affectionately nicknamed Marina by him.
In 1940, the artist left his position in Monza and entered as sculpture professor in the Accademia in Turin.
In 1941, Marini was signed up to hold the chair of sculpture at the Milanese Accademia di Brera.
In 1942, the artist exhibited a drawings anthology at the “Zodiaco Gallery” in Rome and created his third self-portrait. His accommodation and his studio in Milan were razed by the bombardments, so Marini and his wife moved to Tenero (Italian Canton, Switzerland). They would not return to Italy until 1948.
In 1943, Marini went recurrently to Basel and Zurich. In Zurich he met Giacometti, Wotruba, Banninger, Haller and Germaine Richier, who became good friends of him.
He worked into lithography and into the Pomonas. He created as well a bronze portrait of his wife and the celebrated “Arcangelo” which would be the beginning of his “Miracles” series.
In 1945, Marini made the following portraits: one of Germaine Richer (in bronze) and two of Manuel and Ulrich Gasser, respectively, in polychrome terracotta.
In 1948, Marini and his wife came back to Milan. The artist took up again his teaching position at the Accademia di Brera. He created the portrait of Carrà and another one of his wife in polychrome stucco. Marini went to Venice to participate in the “Biennale” were a whole room was devoted to his works. He met Peggy Guggenheim who bought his initial bronzed test of “The Town’s Guardian Angel”, which is located opposite to the same name Museum in Venice. He also met Henry Moore who would become one of his closest friends. The famous art critic and collector Curt Valentin purchased in Venice several Marini’s works and turn into his agent in USA.
In 1949, Marini went to New York to participate in the exposition “Twentieth Century Italian Art” held at the Museum of Modern Art. In that year he completed one of his masterworks: “The Town’s Guardian Angel”.
In 1950, he stayed for four months in USA. Marini met Igor Strawinsky in New York and created the first bronze portrait of the famous Russian composer. At the “Bulchoz Gallery” he exhibited 28 sculptures and several lithographs. The artist met as well Dalí, Arp, Beckmann, Fiers and Kaufmann, who bought a Marini’s replica of the already celebrated “The Town’s Guardian Angel”.
In 1952, the Venice “Biennale” conceded to Marino Marini the “Grand Prize of Sculpture”. In Paris he created six lithographs in Fernand Mourlot’s studio. During his stay in Paris, Marini met Braque, Masson, Brancusi and Ungaretti. He created the bronze portrait of Curt Valentin and kept on working in the series of the “Miracles”.
In 1953, was published a monographic volume on Marini’s works edited by Umbro Apollonio. His works were displayed in Europe (Gothenburg, Stockholm, Copenhagen and Oslo) and in USA (Cincinatti and New York, at the Gallery of Curt Valentin and after at the Museum of Modern Art).
In 1954, the artist won in Rome the Grand Price of the “Accademia Lincei”. The Marinis went to reside to their recently built “Villa Germinaia” in Forte dei Marmi (Tuscany). His close friend and agent in USA, Curt Valentin, would there die. Pierre Matisse became his new agent in USA.
In 1956, Marini tackled the new subject of “The Warrior”. His works were exhibited in London and Los Angeles, as well as at the Rodin Museum in Paris (“International Exhibition”). In 1957, they were exhibited in Düsseldorf and New York.
In 1958, Marini participated in an exposition at the Hanover Gallery in London together with Giacometti, Moore and Matisse. One of his imposing works from the series of the “Miracles”
was bought by the Staatsgemaldesammlung in München. It is currently displayed in Rotterdam to honour the memory of the fallen in the IIWW.
In 1959, the artist had already created an equestrian bronze monument for The Hague to commemorate the victims of the IIWW. It is his biggest work (6 m high). On the bottom he incised a sentence:” We built, we destroyed and a sad song weighed on the world”. The monument was displayed on a square of The Hague.
In 1960, a huge bronzed Marini’s “Warrior” was acquired by the Germanisches National Museum in Nüremberg. In 1961, he would create the portrait of Henry Miller.
In 1962, more than two hundred works by Marini were exhibited in the Kunsthaus in Zurich.
He also created the portraits of MarcChagall and Henry Moore. Moore would grant it to the National Portrait Gallery in London.
In 1963, was published a monographic book by Franco Russoli devoted to Marini’s works. The artist made the portrait of Jean Arp. In 1964, an important exhibition of his paintings was held at the Museum Boymans Van Beuninigen in Rotterdam. In 1966, another important exhibition of Marini’s sculptures, paintings and drawings was held at PalazzoVenezia in Rome.
In 1967, the artist went to Berlin and there he would met Mies Van der Rohe who was overseen the work of the Nationalgalerie. Marini would create his portrait on commission of that Berliners Museum.
In 1968, Marini was decorated in Göttingen with the most important honour of the German state, being nominated membership of “The Order of Merit for Science and the Arts”.
This award had been prior conceded to other two illustrious Italian artists: the writer Alessandro Manzoni and the composer Giuseppe Verdi. Marini kept on working in stoned sculptures and retook his activity as painter.
In 1971, he created the “Idea” from the “Miracles” series.
In 1972, the city of Milan nominated Marini honorary citizen. The “Piero della Francesca Research Centre” held a retrospective of Marini’s works devoted to “The 20th Century Personalities”. The Marinis granted to Milan a significant anthology of Marino Marini’s works.
In 1973, took place the foundation of the Museum Marino Marini in the indoors of the “Gallery of Modern Arts” in Milan. On commission by the Milanese “Teatro alla Scala” the artist designed the decoration and the costumes for “The Rite of Spring” by Igor Strawinsky. In the Town Hall of Pistoia, his birthplace, was inaugurated the “Centro di Documentazione dell’Opera di Marino Marini” which currently preserves a large series of documents about his life and works.
In 1974, Giovanni Agnelli purchased a huge stoned sculpture from the “Miracles” series. It was further donated by him to the “Musei Vaticani” in Rome.
In 1978, a large exhibition devoted to Marini’s works was held at the “National Museum of Modern Art” in Tokyo.
On the 6th August 1980, Marino Marini died in Viareggio (Tuscany).
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