Alberto Magnelli became a major figure of the concrete art movement which became popular during the 1930’s and ‘40’s. Concrete art was an emulation of the modern abstract movement in that it was based on geometric forms rather than nature and the environment. Born in 1888, in Florence, Italy, Magnelli’s initial art was in the fauvist style. He became a member of the avant-garde and travelled around Europe meeting artists such as Fernand Léger and Pablo Picasso where he began developing a more abstract approach to his painting.
Magnelli moved to Paris in the early 1930’s and became a member of the Abstraction-Création group. He collaborated with artists such as artists Jean Arp, Wassily Kandinsky. Magnelli held his first major exhibition at the Galerie Pierre, Paris in 1934 and his first solo exhibition at the Nierendorf Gallery, New York in 1937. When the Nazi’s invaded France, Alberto Magnelli and several other artists moved to a commune along the French Riviera known as Grasse. Although many in the group were forced into hiding because they were Jewish, they were able to successfully complete many works of art during that period.
Following the war, Magnelli continued to travel extensively around the world exhibiting his work. He won second place at the São Paulo Biennial in 1951 and held major exhibitions at the Palace of Fine Arts, Brussels, Belgium; Museum of Modern Art, NewYork; the Kunsthaus, Zürich, Switzerland and many others. Alberto Magnelli passed away at the age of 81 at his home in Meudon just outside of Paris, France.