Skip to content

Gino Severini
b. 1883,Cortona, Italy
d. 1966, Paris, France

After studying at the Scuola Tecnica in Cortona and living for five years in Rome, Gino Severini moved to Paris in 1906 where he studied Impressionist and Neo-Impressionist painting. He is best known for using color to accentuate contrasts and emphasize his compositions’ musicality, which owes to his study of complementary colors and early adoption of Divisionism. Upon moving to Paris, Severini met many avant-garde artists and writers, including Guillaume Apollinaire, Georges Braque, Juan Gris, Amedeo Modigliani, and Pablo Picasso, and learned from them the tenets of Cubism. Severini absorbed these lessons and applied them to Italian Futurism, a movement that celebrated the mechanical above all else. In 1912 Severini organized the first Futurist exhibition at the Galerie Bernheim-Jeune in Paris, and in 1913 he was given solo shows at the Marlborough Gallery, London and Der Sturm, Berlin.  

Around 1916 his emphasis shifted from deconstructing forms to imposing geometric order on his compositions, and he would later experiment with a Neoclassical figurative style, producing mosaics, murals, and frescos, as well as designing sets and writing. A frequent theatergoer, Severini often painted still lifes with musical instruments and scenes from the Commedia dell’Arte. In 1920, after serving as an essential link between Parisian Cubists and Italian Futurists, Severini chose to return to making solely Cubist works.  

As one of the most important avant-garde Italian artists, his work can be found in public collections worldwide, including the Art Institute of Chicago; the Guggenheim Museum and the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Tate Gallery, London; the Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo, and the Gallerie Civica d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Turin.