Skip to Content

Francesco Somaini (Lomazzo 1926 - Como 2005)

He was born in Lomazzo in 1926. After initial post-Cubist work in the 1950s, he followed the Informal style and developed a kind of sculpture that was firmly placed in the environment and the urban space. His sculptures were often monumental forms even if the embryo was to be found in the world of organic matter. Parts of plants such as fallen, crumpled leaves serve as the basis for the bold fusion of heavy metal, bronze and iron. The energy that vibrates in these sculptures emerges from the constant contact with the idea of nature revealed by the broken fragment of matter, in its heart or living flesh below the outer skin. His sculptures, often in the form of fragments, are lumps of fused, heavy and porous matter, almost the dross and waste products of compressed and latent energy.
But his focus on living organisms is also deeply anthropomorphic as, from the 1960s on, in sculptures such as Grande martirio piagato or Prometeo, or Piccolo personaggio of 1964 where the human form is exposed in risky experiments characterized by increasingly new ways of treating materials. Therefore it was through this pursuit, this anxious questioning about the results and performance of materials that Somaini maintained his own vital tension over time. In the 1970s, as was the case for many artists of his generation, attention turned to urban planning and inside the city’s spatial structures he was committed to studying ways of introducing his plastic organisms in a dynamic and engaging way.

Augusta Monferini