Home - Posters Gian Emilio Malerba

Gian Emilio Malerba
  (Milan 1880 - 1926)


He was the son of an antiquarian, got his education at Brera Academy in  Milan, where he was the pupil of  G. Mentessi and  Cesare Tallone. He made his start at Esposizione of Brera in  1906.  In the first years of XX century he largely was active in poster production, working together with  editors such as Ricordi, Chappuis, Armanino, Valcarenghi. As an illustrator, he designed covers for several magazines and journals, covers that represented meaningful examples of his idea of the cover being a small scale manifesto.  He was also author of lyrics and music of songs published by Ricordi and other editors.
He was in Paris, but the lay down of his figures that are inserted in the background without any solution of continuity and the accurate selection of chromatic bright  gammas around ochre, yellow and pink pastel hues refers to the teaching of  Cremona e Ranzoni. The first important nucleus of works is evidence of the formation context of the artist at the Lombard Scapigliatura,  from whose climate Malerba derives his early issues of elegant  quality for a conception of colour as a filling to form. In 1913 he wins the  Premio Canonica. In 1914 one of his works is accepted in the royal Collections. In 1916 he gets a gold medal from the Ministry of Public Education. He was not involved in  Futurist season. His designing activity increases and is always accurately performed, his compositions evolve in more solid and neatly  conceived forms in the following years until 1921. He performs in 1923 at the exhibition  "Contemporary Italian Art" at the Gallery Pesaro with the painting  La collegiale, that has been bought by the Modern Art Gallery from Lima. His poetics foreruns his  "Magic Realism" already from the first 20s:  paintings such as  'Femmina volgo' of 1920  and  'Maschere' of 1922 are fundamental, the first being shown at  XIII Biennal of  Venice and today at the Modern Art Gallery in  Rome. In his painting style is stressed the photographic cut and the monument like icon, softened by the typical atmosphere rareness, is impressive. In 1922 Malerba is among the founders of the group "Novecento" in  Milan and in  1923 he exhibits with that group at  Pesaro Gallery. He resigns after the Venice Biennal of  1924 but takes part to the exhibition "Twenty Italian artists" presented by Ojetti at Pesaro. He dies in Milan when he is 46, while he was getting ready to  participate to the "First Exhibition of Italian XX Century " at the Fine Art Society and Permanent Exhibition in  Milan.

( Translation by Irene De Angelis Curtis )