Fish (Galvano)

Albino GALVANO (Turin, 1907 – 1990)

After classical studies he decided to devote himself to painting and in 1928 he entered the school of Felice Casorati.
The atelier of Casorati - school not only in painting but also anti-fascist culture - was attended, among others, by S. Bonfantini, I. Cremona, Paola Levi Montalcini, L. Romano, with whom, and with the architect C. Mollino, Galvano created a bond of friendship destined to last for a lifetime. During the Biennale of 1930, his painting appeared close to post-impressionism practiced by the so-called Gruppo dei sei, which, between 1929 and 1931, was a decisive reference point for the will of renewal of the most restless young artists working in Turin.
In 1938 he graduated with a thesis dedicated to the teaching of religion. He practiced also artistic critical activity in major newspapers. In 1941 he was assistant professor of painting at the Accademia Albertina in Turin; since 1942, and until 1978, he taught history and philosophy in high schools. In 1945 he was one of the promoters of the Turin Cultural Union, an association that gathered intellectuals and artists decided to engage actively for the growth of the Italian culture. In 1947 he published with the painter P. Oriani the first and unique number of the magazine Tendenza, which contains a programmatic article that focused the theoretical coordinates of his poetry. Both as an organizer and painter his aims were to safeguard the independence of artistic research and to promote the renewal of linguistic means.
Between 1945 and 1949 his painting lived an expressionist period, characterized by the simplification of the linear contours and the use of a chromatic tone. The development of this research led him, around 1950, to move closer to abstraction and constituting the Movimento arte concreta (MAC). As the titles suggest, many of his abstract compositions are marked by a strong religious and metaphysical significance.
In the mid-fifties Galvano moved into informal research, as presented in a solo show at the Venice Biennale in 1956. At the end of the decade, a series of paintings dedicated to the iris and conceived as a tribute S. Mallarmé, he came partly back to figurativism. He went on, after a break from 1962 to 1965, with the cycles of the tapes, the flags, the Moebius rings, and then, in the seventies and eighties, with the bushes and the pebbles of the last period paintings.