Master & Student:
Marino Marini and Filippo Chissotti
Italian sculptors Filippo Chissotti (1920-1995) and Marino Marini (1901-1980) were both dynamic creatives of their time, experimenting across different mediums while taking an interest in drawing and sketching. Chissotti studied in Turin at the Albertina Academy under Marini, as well as Giacomo Manzù. Both Manzù and Marini drew sculptural principles from ancient Etruscan and Northern European traditions, which were undoubtedly passed on to the young student.

Marini first started teaching in 1941 at the Albertini Academy in Turin, where he would mentor Chissotti, until moving to Milan to teach at the Accademia di Brera. His interest in Etruscan traditions account for the title of Piccola Pomona, as Pomona was an Etruscan goddess of fertility. In ancient Rome, she became the goddess of fruitful abundance. Marini saw her as a Mother Nature archetype, a mythical figure that represents the serenity of nature while evoking his roots in classical Mediterranean history. The artist created many representations of Pomona through painting, drawing, and sculpture from 1935 to 1950.

In Untitled (Wounded Bird), Chissotti sculpts a dense, abstract bird whose heaviness is mediated by the incorporation of balance and asymmetry. Despite the brute power behind this piece and others like it, the artist regularly chose to work with ceramics because of the plasticity of the medium, while he sought to harness the expressiveness of other materials such as plaster, wood, wax, and bronze. His interest in malleability contradicted his interest in creating imposing, monumental structures, but somehow this duality within Chissotti further confirms his mastery of technique and progressive vision. His passion for flying appeared in his sculpture through the representation of birds, such as in the present work.

“My Pomonas inhabit a bright and sunny world of poetry, humanity, abundance and great sensuality. They represent a happy season broken by the tragic times of war. In all of these images, femininity is explored in its most remote, inescapable and mysterious forms: it is a type of unavoidable necessity, static immovability, and primitive and unconscious fertility.” (Marini in De Micheli 1999, cit. in M. Tamassia, in Memorie dell’antico nell’arte del Novecento 2009, n. 43, p. 163).

Upcoming Exhibition:
Figure & Form
July 15th - September 16th, 2022

17 E. 67th Street, No. 1A
New York, NY 10065
Monday through Friday, 10am to 6pm
Saturday by appointment