Rabbit (Sassu coniglio)
Horse (Sassu cavallo)

Aligi SASSU (Milan 1912 – Pollença, Mallorca 2000)

Aligi Sassu was born in Milan, to Lina Pedretti, originally from Parma, and Antonio Sassu, Sardinian, who in 1894 had been one of the founders of the Italian Socialist Party in Sassari and who in 1896 had moved to Milan. His father, linked by a strong friendship to Carlo Carrà, took him in 1919, at the age of seven, to the National Futurist Exhibition at the Moretti Gallery in Palazzo Cova, which brought together the greatest futurists and young talents.
In 1925, with his family now in financial straits, he was forced to leave school. At first, he worked as an apprentice at the Pressa, a lithographic workshop; the following year that of assistant to a wall decorator; at the same time, by attending evening courses, he was able to finish his studies. Together with his friend and futurist designer Bruno Munari, he introduced himself to Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, founder of Futurism. This meeting was fruitful: in 1928 he was invited by Marinetti to participate with his works at the Venice Biennale.
With Mazzotti and Fabbri, in 1954, he met Picasso for the first time in Vallauris. Two years later, in a new meeting in La Californie, Picasso will show him the sculptures that he will later exhibit at the Antibes Museum. The same year he exhibited at the Venice Biennale, among other works, The Martyrs of Piazzale Loreto.
Various large paintings belong to 1968, including the Che Guevara, donated to the Havana Museum. In 1969 he was awarded the 1st prize of the Painted Wall Biennale. In 1972 he married Helenita Olivares. Traveling between Mallorca and Italy he collaborated in 1973 at the Sicilian Vespers for the reopening of the Teatro Regio in Turin. A room in the Vatican Gallery of Modern Art was dedicated to him. In 1984 an anthological exhibition was set up in Palazzo dei Diamanti in Ferrara, then transferred to Rome in Castel Sant'Angelo. The same year, another important exhibition was held at Palazzo Reale in Milan, with two hundred and seventy-four works.
Other exhibitions took place in that period in Seville and in Germany, in Madrid and Canada. In 1986 he exhibited in Palma di Mallorca, at the XI Quadrennial in Rome and at the Milan Triennal. In 1992, a traveling exhibition in South America went to São Paulo, Bogotà and Buenos Aires. In 1993 he completed Myths of the Mediterranean, a 150 square meter ceramic mural for the new European Parliament in Brussels.
In 1996 he donated 362 works, created starting from 1927, to the city of Lugano: thus, we have the birth of the Aligi Sassu and Helenita Olivares Foundation which since then has set up thematic exhibitions with his works. In 1999 the Aligi Sassu and Helenita Olivares Foundation was born in Mallorca, too. The same year, for his eighty-seventh birthday, a great retrospective was inaugurated in Palazzo Strozzi in Florence. One year after, on the same day of his birth, he died in Pollença.


Thiesi (SS), Museum Aligi Sassu
Atessa (Ch), Museum Aligi Sassu
Pieve di Cento (BO), MAGI '900
Rome, National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art
Genova, GAM
Albissola (SV), Foundation and Museum Giuseppe Mazzotti
Pescara, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art