The Pomonas, the Horses & Riders, the World of Circus and the Theatre, the Portraits: these are the four artistic moments of Marino Marini’s life.
Horses & Riders
Marino’s equestrian groups are certainly his best-known subjects. They can be seen as a real symbol, a truly original language that he used to express himself and to interpret reality.
“The entire history of humanity and nature can be found in the figure of the horse and rider, whatever the era. It is my way of narrating history. I need this personage to give life to the passions of man (…).”
The rider gradually becomes less able to control his horse and the animal grows increasingly agitated, getting so stiff so that it is no longer able to rear up.
Thus the horses and riders become the lacerated and tragic forms of the Miracles, that fully express Marini’s anxiety for the human condition.
Fossils, Screams, Warriors and Compositions: the titles he gave his work when the horse/rider form was finally reduced to an unconnected and fragmentary group. They recall a drama or a tragedy that has been consumed, leaving dramatic and lifeless forms alone.
The surfaces are sharp, the harsh lines cleave into the space and break it up violently so that nothing seems to have survived of the harmonious relationship between man and nature.
The world of Circus and the theatre
The artist saw the festive jugglers, who almost seem to dance around his horses, as characters from the circus.
Apart from their role as actors in a fascinating world, he also saw them as a symbol of man’s obsessive research for an unobtainable equilibrium, while the difficult art of the acrobat appears to be a metaphor of humanity that is always trying to keep a balance between pleasure and duty, good and bad, life and death.
The collection of portraits carried out in various techniques and materials offers a significant cue to reconstructing Marino’s biography.
After carrying out paintings of the various members of his family and of the faces he knew best, he gradually extended his research to include the people he met on his many trips abroad.
“Every face encloses and solidifies this poetry in some feature, prominence or slight cavity.”
He therefore simplified as much as possible and a few essential lines were enough to aesthetically give life to the various personalities and characters. Lines and strokes that made all the difference in the creation of something quite unique.
The female nudes by Marini are inspired by Pomona, the Etruscan goddess of fertility.
Pomona became the symbol of a rural, harmonious and peaceful world, in other words, Mother Nature.
The Pomonas are drawings, paintings and sculptures – created between 1939 and 1950 – that represent nudes of women with common characteristics.
“They live in a sunny world, a solar poetry, a full humanity, an abundance, a great sensuality. In all these images, femininity is enriched with all its most remote, most immanent, most mysterious meanings: a kind of ineluctable necessity, of immovable static, of primitive and unconscious fecundity.”
Marino Marini in the world
Marino Marini’s work can be admired all over the world. In Italy, apart from the two monographic museums, the Marino Marini Museum in Pistoia and the Marino Marini Museum in Florence, his work can be found in the Vatican Museums and the Museum of the 20th century in Milan, where some rooms are dedicated to his work.
The Angel of the City stands guard outside the entrance to Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, which houses the Guggenheim Museum in Venice.
The three examples of the Idea of an Image (1969-70) can be found in Berlin (Deutscher Bundestag), in Jerusalem (The Israel Museum) and in Tokyo (Museum of Art).
Ersilia in polychrome wood (1930-49) and 10 other sculptures can be found at the Kunsthaus in Zurich, while the Pomona in stone (1972), with 20 other sculptures, is on display in the Staatsgalerie Moderner Kunst in Munich.
It is possible to admire the Rider (1952-53), with 20 other sculptures, at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, while the “Angel of the City” in polychrome wood can be found at the Menard Art Museum at Komaki-City, Aichi
It doesn’t matter what is created but how it is created!