Sironi Mario, Composition

1,955 - 1,957; oil on canvas
cm. 70,3 x 100
Signed bottom left: “SIRONI”
Inventory: AI01339AFC
Provenance: Milan, Gianni Malabarba Collection; Milan, Finarte (1982)
Exibition: 2010, Pavia, n. 28

This painting was executed in the second half of the 1950s. As in many other works of that period, the surface of the canvas is divided into compartments showing different scenes. In Composition these narrow spaces, as though hewn into rock, form a background for three female figures resembling archaic votive offerings in clay, similar to those in Statues in Niches (1947, Casa Museo Boschi-Di Stefano, Milan).

Although the title of the painting gives no indication of its content, the work conveys the lack of communication between individuals, shown as isolated and immobile statues.

The colours, especially black, are summarily applied with a palette knife and reveal certain affinities with the European movement of Art Informel.

Mario Sironi had returned to easel painting after World War II. He lived in isolation, not least because of the change in political climate, in a state of deep disillusionment with the contemporary situation. His belief in the possibilities of art had instead been authentic in the years between the wars. After making his debut as a Futurist, he then became a champion of the “return to order”. Having founded the Sette Pittori del Novecento group with Margherita Sarfatti in 1922, he subsequently played a leading role in the large-scale decorative projects of the Fascist regime, which assigned an important civic function to art. The work indicates that this period, which had been of such crucial importance for the artist, was now definitively over.

Sources:Archivio Storico Intesa Sanpaolo, Patrimonio Cariplo, Opere d’arte. Atti d’acquisto ex Cariplo. Fald. 2/3, pratica no. 879 R/563


Guido Ballo, Vero e falso nell'arte moderna, Edizioni La Bussola, Torino, 1962, vol. I, n. 13, p. 21, ill. pp. 51, 121;
Opere di Arte Contemporanea, Asta 502, Finarte, Milano, 1982, n. 118, pp. 117-118 ill. (Composizione e figure);
Tesori d'arte delle banche lombarde, Associazione Bancaria Italiana, Milano, 1995, p. 503, ill. n. 1032;
Sara Fontana, Mario Sironi, Composizione o Composizione e Figure, in Sergio Rebora, a cura di, Le collezioni d’arte. Il Novecento, Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio delle Provincie Lombarde , Milano, 2000, n. 312, pp. 287- 288, ill. (scheda ripubblicata in Maria Teresa Fiorio – Sergio Rebora, a cura di, 2010);
Maria Teresa Fiorio – Sergio Rebora, a cura di, Da Hayez a Sironi. La pittura moderna in Lombardia attraverso le opere della Fondazione Cariplo, catalogo della mostra, Pavia, Castello Visconteo, Sala del Rivellino, 30 aprile – 23 maggio 2010, Skira, Milano, 2010, n. 28, p. 72, ill. p. 73

Antonella Crippa
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