Gino Severini Italian, 1883-1966
While closely associated with the Futurist movement, Gino Severini’s artistic style metamorphosed several times throughout his career. He is best known for using color to accentuate contrasts and emphasize his compositions’ musicality, which owes to his study of complementary colors and early adoption of Divisionism. Upon moving to Paris, Severini’s paintings became increasingly abstract as he embraced Synthetic Cubism—essentially constructing a composition out of fragments of objects—drawing influence from Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, as well as the writer Guillaume Apollinaire, whose company he kept. Around 1916 his emphasis shifted from deconstructing forms to imposing geometric order on his compositions, and he would later experiment with a Neoclassical figurative style, producing mosaics, murals, and frescos, as well as designing sets and writing. A frequent theatergoer, Severini often painted still lifes with musical instruments and scenes from the Commedia dell’Arte.