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AROLDO BONZAGNI - (Cento - BO 1887 Milano 1918 )

Italian painter and draughtsman.

 In 1906 he moved to Milan with a scholarship and enrolled in the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera in Milan. He soon joined the ranks of such Milanese avant-garde artists as Carlo Carr?, Umberto Boccioni and Luigi Russolo, whose admiration for Gaetano Previati he shared. Through the influence of the latter and through Boccioni he became familiar with modernism. In 1910 he signed the Futurist Manifesto and took part in the evening performances in which the Futurists declaimed their manifestos. However, he soon disassociated himself from the movement and turned his attention to the depiction of reality, which he interpreted and portrayed with a feeling of irony and caricature (e.g. Exit from La Scala, 1910; Cento, Gal. A. Mod. Aroldo Bonzagni). His numerous drawings were influenced by the work of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Jean-Louis Forain and Th?ophile-Alexandre Steinlen, and above all by the style of the Munich and Vienna Secessions, known in Italy through the Venice Biennales of the early 1900s. In 1910-11 he created decorations for the Villa S Donnino (now Villa Leonardi) at San Donnino della Nizzola near Modena. In 1912, having participated in the Mostra della pittura e della scultura rifiutata organized by Boccioni at the Palazzo Cova, Milan, he exhibited at the Venice Biennale. In 1913 he participated in the Mostra nazionale della caricatura in Bergamo, leaving for Argentina the following year, after again exhibiting at the Venice Biennale. In Buenos Aires he painted some frescoes in the race-track (destr.) and worked for the humorous periodical El Zorro. After returning to Milan, he set up a show in 1915 in the Palazzo delle Aste. In his work he increasingly depicted the poorest sectors of society (e.g. Beggars, 1916-17; Milan, Gal. A. Mod).