The Museum of Avant-garde

Ardengo Soffici

Italy (1878—1964)
Born in a small village in Tuscany, Soffici moved to Florence soon to study at the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence. At 21 years old he travelled to Paris to visit the International Exhibition and decided to remain in France for several years, frequenting artists such as Braque, Picasso, Gris and Apollinaire. Back in Italy he worked as a writer publishing essays on Cubism in 1910 and as a curator of an Impressionist exhibition largely dedicated to Medardo Rosso. Although critical towards Futurism, he was also somehow facinated with it and in 1913 he exhibited with the movement. He was also editor of Lacerba journal. His artistic experimentation took on some of the Futuristic principles but interpreted with more muted colours and analitical shapes of Cubism. At the outbreak of World War I Soffici explored also a Futuristic approach to typography, creating the volume BIF§ZF+18: Simultaneities and Lyrical Chemical Actions. The years following the end of the Great war saw him returning to a more traditional aesthetics, producing naturalistic artworks.