“Pardini can already count a number of years of work which are both serious and stylistically conscious. His expressive investigation has not, however, developed in a unilateral fashion. Indeed, from the very start two inclinations or two impetuses have manifested themselves within him, which have gone on to become the poles of his entire figurative dialectic…”
MARIO DE MICHELI
(Genova, April 1914 – Milan, August 2004) was an Italian writer and art critic.
A historian of the artistic avant-garde of the 1900s, Mario De Micheli supported with a passion art which was socially and civically aware, with his criticism of Italian and European artists from the early 1940s to the end of the century. Born in Genova, he graduated from university in Milan in 1938, writing a dissertation on the Surrealist poets, In Milan he was part of the Corrente group, an anti-fascist faction. He founded various art magazines, from Realismo to Artecontro, and organized numerous national and international exhibitions. For years he was the official art critic for the daily newspaper “L’Unità”. The fact that many important Hungarian and Rumanian poets, as well as many European artists that Italian culture had yet to encounter such as the German sculptor Kaethe Kollwtz, became well-known in Italy is down to him. His critical vision can be summed up in the search for an art that is attentive to the values of man and his struggle against history’s brutalities. There are many important Italian artists whose careers he boosted in a significant manner. He died in Milan and is buried in Trezzo d’Adda, the library of which he named as heir to his precious book collection. His strong anti-fascist partisan vision, supporting the liberation of the more fragile social classes, meant that many read his reviews as an imprint of his ideology, although history will bear witness to the fact that his reviews, never one-sided, were always attentive to the pluralism of languages and diverse cultural backgrounds. “A tendency to multiply tendencies”: this phrase was the order of the day for him, and a clear sign of his everlasting topicality.
This post is also available in: Italian