Exposition Art Blog: Alberto Savinio - Surrealism

Alberto Savinio - Surrealism

Alberto Savinio real name Andrea Francesco Alberto de Chirico (25 August 1891 – 5 May 1952) was an Italian writer, painter, musician, journalist, essayist, playwright, set designer and composer. He was the younger brother of 'metaphysical' painter Giorgio de Chirico. His work often dealt with philosophical and psychological themes, and he also was heavily concerned with the philosophy of art.Throughout his life, Savinio composed five operas and authored at least forty-seven books, including multiple autobiographies and memoirs. Savinio also extensively wrote and produced works for the theater. Savinio's work received mixed reviews during his lifetime, often due to his pervasive use of modernist techniques. He was influenced by and a contemporary of Apollinaire, Picasso, Jean Cocteau, Max Jacob, and Fernand Léger, and had a significant influence on the surrealist movement.(....) 1927, he gave his first one-man show as a painter, at the Bernheim Gallery in Paris. Savinio's contributions to the Avant-Garde movement during this period sharply contrast with the provincialism that was favored by the National Fascist Party in Italy at this time. Angelica o la Notte di Maggio (Angelica or the Night in May), which was a parodical and surreal revisitation of the Ancient Greek myth of Eros and Psyche was published this year, as well. The novel tells the story of Angelica- a poor actress working in a second rate theater in Greece at the end of the nineteenth-century and Baron Felix Von Rothspeer, a loveless, older aristocrat. In many ways, Savinio makes the theater a central character in the plot; it is painted as a place where the senses and romance can be deeply explored and discovered.Judgments of Savinio's work varied wildly depending on the phase of his life and the reviewer. Many of Savinio's most critically praised works are also amongst his most disliked and misunderstood. This is largely due to Savinio's frequent and controversial use of modernist techniques for creative expression.From a very young age, Savinio's piano playing impressed critics nearly unanimously. Guillaume Apollinaire once said of Savinio's piano playing: " I was surprised and beguiled; Savinio mistreated his instrument so much that after each piece the keyboard had to be cleared of chips and splinters. I foresee that within two years he will have gutted every piano in Paris. Savinio will then go on to destroy every piano in the universe, which may be a true liberation."Judgment of his body of work as a whole was seen in 1954, when the Venice Biennale created a room devoted solely to Savinio's artistic legacy.According to the art historian Jean Clair, the works of Savinio and his brother Giorgio de Chirico were the basis of both the surrealist movement and magic realism.Wikipedia

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