Aligi Sassu (Milan, July 17, 1912 - Pollença, July 17, 2000) was an Italian painter and sculptor.
Aligi Sassu was born in Milan, in Lombardy, to Lina Pedretti, originally from Parma, and Antonio Sassu, a 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, led him in 1919, at the age of just 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 a wall decorator's assistant; at the same time, by attending evening classes, he was able to complete 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 in the Venice Biennale.
With Mazzotti and Fabbri, in 1954, in Vallauris he met Picasso for the first time. 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, which Giulio Carlo Argan bought for the National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art. In Albissola Capo painted the cycle of the Chronicles of Albisola, well representing the artistic life of the town which at the time brought together potters, poets, writers, critics, and of which Aligi Sassu was the protagonist together with Lucio Fontana, Salvatore Fancello and other artists.
Various large paintings belong to 1968, including Che Guevara, donated to the Museum of Havana. In 1969, at the Biennale, he was awarded the 1st prize of the painted wall. In 1972 he married Helenita Olivares. Traveling between Majorca and Italy, he collaborated in 1973 with the Sicilian Vespers for the reopening of the Teatro Regio in Turin. At the Vatican a room in the Gallery of Modern Art was dedicated to him. Three years later he created two mosaics for the parish of Sant'Andrea in Pescara and the following year he exhibited his works in the cities of Rotterdam, Toronto and Mallorca.
In 1996 he donated 356 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. On June 25, 1999, the Aligi Sassu and Helenita Olivares Foundation was born in Mallorca by the will of the Sassu spouses. On 31 March 2000, the non-profit cultural association Amici dell'Arte di Aligi Sassu was established in Besana in Brianza. He died in Pollença on July 17 of the same year, at the age of 88, just on his birthday.
WORKS IN ITALY
CYCLE OF GLASS WINDOW BY ALIGI SASSU
20833 GIUSSANO – MB
ART COLLECTIONS OF THE CASSA DI RISPARMIO DI VOLTERRA FOUNDATION
56048 VOLTERRA – PISA
GIUSEPPE MAZZOTTI MUSEUM FOUNDATION 1903
17012 ALBISSOLA MARINA – SAVONA
MODERN ART GALLERY “A. BONZAGNI”
44042 CENTO – FERRARA
PRO CIVITATE CONTEMPORARY ART GALLERY
06081 ASSISI - PERUGIA
ALIGI SASSU MUSEUM
66041 ATESSA – CHIETI
“COSTANTINO BARBELLA” MUSEUM OF ART
SANDRO PERTINI AND RENATA CUNEO MUSEUM
MUNICIPAL ART GALLERY OF MARSALA
91025 MARSALA – TRAPANI