Pagine d’arte

15 giugno 2015

Monday, June 15th at 5.30 pm

Presentation of the book by Elena Pontiggia “Mario Sironi. La grandezza dell’arte, le tragedie della storia”, published by Johan & Levi.

Discussion with the author and Valentina Gensini.
After long archive researches and the study of considerable number of unpublished documents, Elena Pontiggio goes through the existential events and the artistic career of Mario Sironi in a book that not only intends to correct historiographic errors but also presents unknown facts about his work. According to Sironi “Art does not need to be nice, it needs to be great”. The painter was used to represent inhospitable surrounding areas but also imposing structures such as modern cathedrals.

He joined the futurist movement in 1913 and then expressed the toughest aspect of cities and contemporary life in the twenties. However, he also gave the graceful strength of the traditional architectures to his urban landscapes and the feast of ancient figures to his portraits. He was one of the most relevant voices of the interwar period – first with the Italian Novecento movement and then with the visionary dream of a rebirth of frescoes and mosaics. Fascist from the very beginning and close friend of Mussolini, Sironi expressed the regime doctrine in his mural paintings of the thirties, even if his painful and powerful work has never been the State art.

The doom and gloom of life did not prevent him to express in his paintings his stubborn constructive willingness in opposition to any kind of tragedies – at least until the last season in which sliding cities and visions of the Apocalypse became witnesses of his vanished dreams and illusions.


Elena Pontiggia, art historian and lecturer at Brera Academy. She is specialized in international art in the interwar period and she deals with the relationship between modernity and classicism. She works in collaboration with La Stampa and with other magazines. Among the books she wrote: Hopper (2004); Modernità e classicità. Il Ritorno all’ordine in Europa (2008, Prize Carducci 2009); Christian Schad (to be published shortly). She organized many exhibitions and wrote several books about Sironi.