Life and history

Marino Marini was born in Pistoia in 1901. In 1917, he enrolled in the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence where he took courses in painting with Galileo Chini and sculpture with Domenico Trentacoste. He devoted the early years of his activity to painting and drawing. In 1927, while residing in Florence he met in Monza Arturo Martini who, two years later, called upon him to come to teach at I.S.I.A.(Istituto Superiore per le Industrie Artistiche), at the Royal Villa in Monza. In 1928, he participated in the exhibition in Milan of the “Novecento” group. In 1929 he came to Paris, where he had the opportunity to meet with other artists, such as De Pisis, Picasso, Maillol, Lipchitz, Braque, Laurents. On the direct advice from Mario Tozzi, he sent the terracotta sculpture, “People” to the exhibition of modern art in the Bonaparte Gallery in Paris. He continues to exhibit with the group “Novecento” – in Milan (1929), Nice (1929), Helsinki (1930) and Stockholm (1931).
His first solo exhibition took place in Milan, in 1932, and in 1935 he won the first prize for sculpture at the Quadriennale in Rome. These are the years when Marini defines his artistic research within two essential themes: the knight and the pomona.
In 1938, he married Mercedes Pedrazzini, affectionately renamed Marina, who was by his side for the rest of his life. In 1940, he left his teaching position in Monza for the sculpture chair at the Brera Academy, which held until 1943, when he fled to Switzerland in the wake of the war.
During these years he had the opportunity to frequent people such as Wotruba, Germaine Richier, Giacometti, Haller, and Banninger, and to get in touch with the most advanced artistic realities in Europe. He was exposed to Basel, Bern, and Zurich. When the war ended, Marino returned to Milan, he reopened his studio and resumed his teaching.
In 1948, the Venice Biennale dedicated a solo exhibit to him; and there he meets Henry Moore, with whom he holds a particularly important friendship for his artistic production; and Curt Valentin, a merchant who makes him known on the European and US markets. During his time in America he meets Arp, Feininger, Calder, Dalì, and Tanguy. Marini proceeds to intensify his international expositions and earning accolades from staff in New York in 1950, participating in the equestrian monument commissioned by The Aia City Council in 1958-59, the Zurigo exhibitions (1962), Rome (1966) and the exhibition traveling in Japan (1978).
From the 1970s museum exhibitions dedicated to him begin to take shape. In 1973, the Marino Marini museum opened in the Civic Gallery of Modern Art in Milan. In 1976, the New Painting Gallery of Munich dedicated a permanent hall. In 1979, the documentary center for Marino Marini’s work was inaugurated in Pistoia, which, since 1989, has been placed in the restored convent of Tau. Marino Marini died in Viareggio in 1980. A few years later, in 1988, the Museo Marino Marini of Florence was inaugurated, following a donation of works to the Tuscan capital, a city that Marino held dear.

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