Arturo Ciacelli (It.), Dux (1935)


Price: on request


‘Dux’ (‘Il Duce’)
Signed right, below: ‘CIACELLI ROMA-XIII” (1935).

Signed XIII (1935)
The Era Fascista (‘Fascist Era’) was a calendar era used in Fascist Italy. The March on Rome, or more precisely the accession of Mussolini as prime minister on 29 October 1922, is day 1 of Anno I of the Era Fascista. The calendar was introduced in 1926 and became official in 1927 (Anno V). Each year of the Era Fascista (E.F.) was an Anno Fascista, abbreviated A.F.

At the backsite an original label of ‘Galleria Annunciata’, Milan.

– condition : II restored
– size : 66 x 49 cm
– signed : right, below: ‘CIACELLI – ROMA – XIII’
– type : mixed technique on paper. At the back a label of ‘Galleria Annunciata’

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Futurism (Italian: Futurismo) was an artistic and social movement that originated in Italy, and to a lesser extent in other countries, in the early 20th century. It emphasized dynamism, speed, technology, youth, violence, and objects such as the car, the airplane, and the industrial city. Its key figures included the Italians Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Umberto Boccioni, Carlo Carrà, Fortunato Depero, Gino Severini, Giacomo Balla, and Luigi Russolo. Italian Futurism glorified modernity and according to its doctrine, aimed to liberate Italy from the weight of its past. Important Futurist works included Marinetti’s 1909 Manifesto of Futurism, Boccioni’s 1913 sculpture Unique Forms of Continuity in Space, Balla’s 1913–1914 painting Abstract Speed + Sound, and Russolo’s The Art of Noises (1913).
Although Futurism was largely an Italian phenomenon, parallel movements emerged in Russia, where some Russian Futurists would later go on to found groups of their own; other countries either had a few Futurists or had movements inspired by Futurism. The Futurists practiced in every medium of art, including painting, sculpture, ceramics, graphic design, industrial design, interior design, urban design, theatre, film, fashion, textiles, literature, music, architecture, and even cooking. To some extent Futurism influenced the art movements Art Deco, Constructivism, Surrealism, and Dada, and to a greater degree Precisionism, Rayonism, and Vorticism.

Italian Futurism
Futurism is an avant-garde movement founded in Milan in 1909 by the Italian poet Filippo Tommaso Marinetti. Marinetti launched the movement in his Manifesto of Futurism, which he published for the first time on 5 February 1909 in La gazzetta dell’Emilia, an article then reproduced in the French daily newspaper Le Figaro on Saturday 20 February 1909. He was soon joined by the painters Umberto Boccioni, Carlo Carrà, Giacomo Balla, Gino Severini and the composer Luigi Russolo. Marinetti expressed a passionate loathing of everything old, especially political and artistic tradition. ‘We want no part of it, the past’, he wrote, ‘we the young and strong Futurists!’ The Futurists admired speed, technology, youth, violence, the car, the airplane and the industrial city, all that represented the technological triumph of humanity over nature, and they were passionate nationalists. They repudiated the cult of the past and all imitation, praised originality, ‘however daring, however violent’, bore proudly ‘the smear of madness’, dismissed art critics as useless, rebelled against harmony and good taste, swept away all the themes and subjects of all previous art, and gloried in science.

Arturo Ciacelli, ‘Portrait’, depicted in ‘Osvobozená slova’, Prague, 1922, by  Marinetti.

Arturo Ciacelli, ‘Turbine. 1933-36’. Oil on canvas. Signed 1936. Size 71 x 46 cm. Sold by a Swiss auction house in 2014.

Arturo Ciacelli, ‘Aereopittura’ (‘Aeropaiting’), 1924. Oil on canvas. Size 92 x 109 cm. Sold by an Italian auction house in 2016.

Arturo Ciacelli, ‘Senza Titolo’ (‘Without Title’), 1942. Size 17 x 23,5 cm. Sold by an Italian auction house in 2019.

Arturo Ciacelli, ‘Circuits Aircraft Satellites’, 1924. Sold by an Italian auction house in 2018.

Arturo Ciacelli, ‘Foire à Montmartre’, 1915.

Arturo Ciacelli, ‘Spazio-pittura’, 1925. Oil on canvas, Size 92 x 110 cm.

Arturo Ciacelli, ‘Partita Di Tennis Futurista’, 1918. Tempera on board.

Left: Arturo Ciacelli, ‘Minne Frau Paris’, 1914. Etching. Size 30 x 30 cm. Sold in 1970 by an Italian auction house.
Right: Arturo Ciacelli, ‘Danzatrici’ (‘Dancers’), 1935. Gouache on paper.

In his shows in 1913 in Stockholm, Göteborg and Oslo, Ciacelli launched himself as a Futurist. The exhibitions featured a rather eclectic collection of works, twenty-one paintings, and a series of twenty drawings illustrating Nietzsche’s Also Sprach Zarathustra. His exhibitions took place in a feverish climate that characterized the promotion of artistic Futurism in Europe, organized by Marinetti, Boccioni, Carrà, Russolo and Severini between 1912 and 1913.

Catalogue of Ciaceli’s 1913-exhibition ‘Futurist’, held in 1913 in Stockholm.

Arthura Ciacelli, ‘Hos Thomas Lorenzen: Nattcafé in Köpenhamn’ (‘At  Thomas Lorenzen’s Nightcafé in Copenhagen’). Number 1 in the 1913 catalogue ‘Futurist Utstallning Arturo Ciacelli’.

Left: Arturo Ciacelli, ‘Number 20. Das Zeichen’ (‘Number 20. The Sign’). Drawing number 20 of the series ‘Also sprach Zarathustra’. Art print, issued by the ‘Nya konstgalleriet’ in Stockholm.
Right: another drawing by Ciacelli, of the same ‘Also sprach Zarathustra’ series. Art print, issued by the ‘Nya konstgalleriet’ in Stockholm.

Also from the ‘Also sprach Zarathustra’ series by Ciacelli. Pencil and charcoal on board. Signed 1912. Size 50 x 34 cm. Sold by an Italian auction house in 2017.

Left: Arturo Ciacelli, date unknown.
Right: Ciacelli in 1918.

Arturo Ciacelli
Arturo Ciacelli (1883 – 1966), born in Arnara (Lazio), was an Italian painter, set designer, decorator and art dealer. Arturo went to ‘l’Instituto d’arte Industrial and followed courses at the Accademia di belle art and at the Accademia di Francia in Rome. 
From 1904 to 1907, he worked with Alessandro Bazzani and later Duilio Cambellotti in the ‘teatro Argentina’ in Rome. In these years, he met the artists Umberto Boccioni and Gino Severini, who were influenced by Giacomo Balla. In 1905, Boccione and Severini introduced Ciacelli in the ‘Primo Salone dei Rifiutati’, where he displayed five works. In 1909, he continued following courses at the Accademia di belle art, where he met the Swedish painter Elsa Ström . The two married in Rome and soon moved to Stockholm.

Ciacelli experimented with several avant-garde styles, from Futurism to Symbolism, to Cubism, Simultanism and to Abstractionism. In Futurism and Abstractionism, he was one of the first forerunners in Europe. Filippo Tommaso Marinetti said of him: ‘Absolute abstraction devoured him: with Italian virility he brought to the canvas often clouded by nihilistic spiritualisms, a jumping triangulated optimism and a pride of physical strength from which his current hot fantasies logically had to spring’.

In Sweden, Ciacelli, exhibited in the Odeon galleries in Stockholm, at whose connected school he taught painting. Exhibitions in Malmö, Copenhagen, Goteborg and Oslo followed.
During his stay in Paris in 1911, Ciacelli met Marc Chagall , Fernand Léger and Georges Braque. Apparently Pablo Picasso has no esteem for him, whereas Guillaume Apollinaire’s sympathy for him was well known. Ciacelli established a solid friendship with Sonia and Robert Delaunay.
In his shows in 1913 in Stockholm, Göteborg and Oslo, Ciacelli launched himself as a Futurist. The exhibitions featured a rather eclectic collection of works, twenty-one paintings, and a series of twenty drawings illustrating Nietzsche’s ‘Also sprach Zarathustra’. His exhibitions took place in a feverish climate that characterized the promotion of artistic Futurism in Europe, organized by Marinetti, Boccioni, Carrà, Russolo and Severini between 1912 and 1913. Ciacelli received an endorsement from none other than Apollinaire in the ‘Paris–Journal’ of 22 July 1914. 
While he never stopped going to Rome and Paris, it was in Sweden and, more generally, in Scandinavia that Ciacelli settled down and found his true recognition. In 1913, in Stockholm, he carried out ‘an undoubtedly unscrupulous operation’: he translated into Swedish and published [in the catalog of one of his personal exhibitions entitled Arturo Ciacelli Futurist utstallning ] a large excerpt from the Manifeste des Peintres futurists,  where he added his signature at the bottom, together with those of the definitive historical quintet of Futurist painters: Boccioni, Carrà, Russolo, Severini and Balla. Although in all probability this move was blessed by Marinetti himself, Boccioni and the other Futurist painters did not like it: from that moment on they did not hide a certain diffidence towards Ciacelli.
In the following years Ciacelli intensified his activity as a popularizer and lecturer: he founded the Nya konstgalleriet in Stockholm, the first contemporary art gallery in Sweden, and promoted its activity through the magazine ‘Nykonst’. He organized  exhibitions of Scandinavian and international painters: among them, the Delaunay couple, Kees Van Dongen , Léger, Ozenfant , Picasso, Vasilij Kandinsky , Diego Rivera , Severini, Raoul Dufy. At the same time he opened a night club; visitors of the club were artists , singers, writers, poets, such as Evert Taube , Jussi Björling , Nils Ferlin , Vilhelm Moberg and Per Lagerqvist. In March 1928, he exhibited his paintings at the Sturm-Galerie in Berlin, and in August 1928, the avant garde magazine ‘Der Sturm’ reproduced two of his works. Sometime in the 1920s he gave up the Swedish gallery and returned to Rome. Here he founded and directed the ‘Grotte dell’Augusteo’ a cabaret meeting place with an exhibition hall located in the basement of the Mausoleum of Augustus , frequented by the Rome intellectuals. 
In 1930, he moved, to Paris, where for three years he spent one of the most fruitful periods of his life. He participated in two different moments at the Salon des Tuileries and in the Ville Lumière he holds three personal exhibitions. Meanwhile, in 1930, he took part in the Venice Biennale with the entire Futurist group, exhibiting two works: ‘Carosello’ and ‘Giostra’. In 1934 he was at the ‘First Mural Exhibition’ for Fascist Buildings in Genoa, thus presenting himself among the most prominent artists ‘of the second half of Futurism’. Ciacelli became one of the leading exponents of ‘Aeropainting’ and in 1935 holds a personal exhibition at the ‘Dinesen salon’ in Rome, whose inaugural speech, recited once again by Marinetti, consecrates him definitively. Ciacelli had already demonstrated his interest in the ‘Aeropainting’, the expression of the myth of the machine and of the modernity characteristic, the enthusiasm for flight, the dynamism and speed of the airplane. Some of his canvases entitled ‘Aeropainting’ dated back to the mid-1920s. In 1937, the year that he moved to Vienna to teach at the Italian Cultural Institut, Ciacelli organized the last Futurist exhibition. Seven years after the end of the war, he organized an exhibition of the ‘Movimento per l’arte concreta’ (MAC) at the Cultural Institute and immediately entered into empathy with the ‘Concretism’ theorized by Gillo Dorfles and Bruno Munari . The courtesy is soon reciprocated: the MAC sets up a solo show in Milan dedicated entirely to Ciacelli, who is treated as ‘one of the greatest European abstract painters’. Many other exhibitions by Ciacelli in Milan, and Rome, would follow.
Arturo Ciacelli died in Venice in 1966 while visiting the Biennale.