Fontana Liri, 1910 – Marino, 1998
Sculptor, painter, and printmaker Umberto Mastroianni was born in Fintana Liri, Italy, on September 21, 1910. His formal training began as a teenager when he traveleld to Rome to study at the Accademia di San Marcello, and began apprenticing with his uncle Domenico Mastroianni in his sculpture studio in Via Margutta. In 1926 he moved to Turin to work in the studio of classical sculptor Michele Guerrisi.
Around 1930 Mastroianni entered the second-wave Italian Futurist circle, and he was secured an inagural exhibition by the artist Filippo De Pisis in Genoa in 1931. The art world at this time was undergoing divisions within genres, as sociopolitical ideology began to uproot Europe. This led to the split between the followers of Futurist founder Filippo Marinetti, a Mussolini admirer and promoter of Fascism, and the newer, younger Futurists who felt sympathetic with the Italian Resistance. Drafted into Mussolini’s military as World War II took hold, he soon abandoned his service and joined the Resistance. At this time, he was exposed to the ideologies of Abstract Expressionism and was drawn to its sense of freedom, incorporating non-objectivity into his work throughout the 1940s.
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