Figure, 1960, signed and dated Crippa 60, signed, dated and titled on the verso Crippa 1960 "Figure", cork and collage on board, 40.8 x 32.8 cm, framed, 1960, cm.30x40

Galleria Schwarz, Milan, n. 235 (label on the verso)
Prato Farsetti (with photographic certification)
Private collection, Italy

Figura ()

After beginning painting in 1945, in figurative style with Cubist influences close to Picasso's style, he joined the spatialist movement with Lucio Fontana, Gian Carozzi, Giorgio Kaisserlian, Beniamino Joppolo, Milena Milani, Sergio Dangelo, Carlo Cardazzo and Cesare Peverelli. He graduated in art in 1947/1948 at the Academy of Brera (where he met Aldo Carpi, Carlo Carrà and Achille Funi), participated the following year at the Venice Biennale, and exhibited works at the Triennale di Milano. Again in 1950, 1954 and 1956 he was present at the Biennale and again in 1950 he exhibited in Trieste during a group exhibition entitled Spatial Art. Following his friendship with Lucio Fontana, he was one of the signatories of the third "Manifesto of Spatialism" (Proposal for a regulation) of 1950. In 1951 he also participated in the "Manifesto dell'Arte Spaziale". Crippa's work in the early fifties was centered around series of paintings called Spirals, geometric and abstract: with the almost circular circular gesture (but never perfectly round) Crippa created involuted spaces, from which they generated rays that ideally projected out of the two-dimensionality of the canvas, in line with the principles of the spatialist "Manifesto". Became also known abroad for his works, Crippa reached New York, where he met the surrealists Max Ernst, Victor Brauner and Yves Tanguy, and exhibited at the Alexander Iolas gallery. The Spirals changed, becoming heavier, incisive and involute, interlaced with each other. These figures, developed between 1954 and 1956, are called Totems. In 1955 he moved to the production of multi-material works, which populated a personal exhibition at the Naviglio gallery in Milan. The following year the inspiration of the polymaterial paintings was further developed, with the production of works in iron, bronze, steel inspired by primitive symbolism. With these works he participated in the 1958 Biennale. Roberto Crippa in the late sixties - early seventies The use of original materials in 1960 resulted in the production of asbestos, cork, newspaper and tissue paper, combined with different materials and colors. The works were exhibited in a traveling exhibition that reached Japan, the United States and Australia. In 1962 he was the victim of a flight accident: Crippa was a fan of aerial acrobatics, so much that in 1971 he was invited as an Italian representative at the World Championships in aerial acrobatics. The '62 accident forced him into a wheelchair for almost a year: nevertheless, he participated with his paintings at various exhibitions in Europe and the United States. In this phase Crippa went to paint landscapes (Landscape), with the technique of polymers and with the usual abstract style. Also from this period are the amiantites, non-paintings made with thin sheets of asbestos applied on an engraved table. In 1967 the State of Rhodesia dedicated a stamp to Crippa; the following year the artist, fully recovered, took part in the Venice and Menton Biennials. In the seventies Roberto Crippa also worked on postal art (mail art). A postcard of his, addressed to Eraldo Di Vita in Milan, is also published in his monograph. In 1972, during a flight of preparation for the World Championships, the Crippa plane crashed near the airport of Bresso, killing the artist and his pupil Piero Crespi.

Roberto* Crippa