Berlin, 1895 – Saint Tropez, 1971
Massimo Campigli – also known as Max Ihlenfeld – even though born in Berlin, spent his earlier years in Italy, first in Florence and then in Milan. In this latter city, he joined the Futurism movement, as a journalist.
After serving in the First World War – during which he was imprisoned – he went back to the Milan and started working for the ‘Corriere della Sera’. The newspaper sent him as a correspondent to Paris where he began his artistic career, taking part in the Salon d’Automne in 1921, 1923 and 1925.
Together with De Chirico, Tozzi, Severini, Paresce and Savinio, he founded the group ‘Italiens de Paris’. In 1926, he participated in the ‘Prima Mostra del Novecento Italiano’ at Palazzo della Permanente in Milan.
When he visited the Museo di Villa Giulia in Rome, during a family trip with his wife, in 1927, he discovered Etruscan art, which strongly influenced his style in terms of mythical timelessness and an archaic compositional rigour. That same year he partecipated in the Venice Biennale, reaching international success in 1929 thanks to a solo show at the Galerie Jeanne Bucher in Paris.
Campigli was further invited to the Venice Biennale in 1948 and 1960.
He spent the last years of his life in Saint-Tropez with his wife, after achieving an undisputed success on the artistic scene. He passed away in 1971.
© MASSIMO CAMPIGLI, by SIAE 2023
Morandi, Balla, de Chirico and Italian Painting 1920-1950
exhibition catalogue edited by Tornabuoni Art London. Essay by Flavia Frigeri. N/b and colored illustrations, 175 pages, 24×29 cm, English/Italian, 2020.