By Adriana Baranello

Enrico Prampolini died on 17 June 1956 in Rome, at age 62. He was a classically educated artist, who trained at the Accademia delle Belle Arti in Rome before taking his place as one of the foremost members of the Futurist Movement, and one of the only members besides F.T. Marinetti to remain active in the movement from near its beginning in 1909 to its end with the death of Marinetti in 1944.

While Prampolini is primarily remembered as a Futurist painter, he worked in many media, including sculpture, scenography, architecture, mosaic, journalism, theater and free-word poetry. Prampolini was sophisticated and cosmopolitan, passing long stretches in Paris, working alongside Picasso, Mondrian, Kandinsky, Tristan Tzara and many others. He maintained close friendships and working relationships with members of the Bauhaus, Dada, and De Stijl movements, and was a member of Cercle et Carre.

Prampolini’s earliest works were in the hard-edged geometric style of early Futurist art, and his early free-word poetry was dominated by typographic experimentation. Prampolini penned a number of Futurist manifestos, and founded the journal Noi which ran from 1917-1925. Later, Prampolini was one of the pioneers of Aeropainting, the most significant aesthetic trend in later Futurist art. His late works demonstrate an interest in partial biomorphic abstraction, setting most of his paintings into nebulous cosmic space. Prampolini is also often remembered as an active member of the Fascist party, and as an important figure in the 1932 Mostra della Rivoluzione Fascista.

Ritratto di Marinetti. Sintesi plastica.1923-24, oil on canvas, Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Turin

Ritratto di Tullio d’Albisola (Tullio Mazzotti), 1929, ink on paper, Collection the family Mazzotti, Alibisola Marina

Autoritratto simultaneo, c 1823, oil on canvas, Solomon R. Guggenheim Collection, New York

L’automa quotidiano, 1930, mixed media on wood, Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, Rome

Thäis, Anton Giulio Bragaglia, 1917, Archives of the Cinémathèque Française

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