Mario Tozzi 1979-20191979-2019
Palazzo Viani Dugnani
Via Ruga 44 - Verbania
To Marche painter Mario Tozzi (Fossombrone, 1895-Saint-Jean-Du-Gard, 1979), who spent much of his life in Suna on Lake Maggiore and founded Italiens de Paris together with Massimo Campigli, Giorgio De Chirico, Filippo De Pisis, René Paresce, Alberto Savinio and Gino Severin, the Museo del Paesaggio is devoting a new section at Palazzo Viani Dugnani, on the 40th anniversary of his death (1979-2019).
More than thirty paintings, some very large, recount the artist’s stylistic evolution from the first decade of the 20th century to the last geometric and stylised work of the 1960s and 70s.
In conjunction with Archivio Mario Tozzi di Foiano della Chiana (Arezzo) and Studio d’Arte Lanza di Verbania, the exhibition presents the whole collection of the artist’s work owned by the Museo del Paesaggio alongside two recently passed on to the museum (The Prayer and Mourned) and a series of sketches and drawings, some never seen before, such as the small and rare fresco portion depicting a Virgin Mary’s head on loan from Galleria Lanza in Verbania. More than thirty paintings, some very large, recount the artist’s stylistic evolution from the first decade of the 20th century to the last geometric and stylised work of the 1960s and 70s.
Tozzi’s artistic debut would appear to have been influenced by late 19th century painting, especially the Lombard Naturalist tradition: the work of the first decade of the 20th century, mainly with family themes (Portrait of a Mother) and Verbano area views (Nocturne) show a great attention to the natural world rendered with a semi-pointillist style. In the early 1920s, in Paris, Tozzi encountered the paintings of Cezanne and Fauvism but above all came into contact with Italian artists living there such as Giorgio De Chirico and Alberto Savinio who introduced him to the Valori Plastici movement and metaphysical painting: his figures took on a markedly sculptural quality in a three dimensional relationship with the spaces around them (Serenity, Seated Woman with her Back to Us, Morning Wash – one of the best known). His language changed considerably at the end of the 1950s, becoming increasingly geometric with increasingly two dimensional figures and greater recourse to abstraction (The Great Square, 1962, Small Head 1970), to cite just a few.