Mario Sironi (1885-1961)
Sironi frequented the studio of Balla when he studied in Rome in the early 1900s. He became a close friend of Boccioni and in 1914 he moved to Milan, where he was immediately drawn into the Futurist movement. Sironi was interested in Boccioni's notion of plastic dynamism but was never in complete agreement with Futurist ideas regarding the deconstruction of form. In fact, Sironi was attracted to the movement more by its socio-political ideas - such as its scorn for bourgeois values and its extreme nationalism - than he was by its aesthetic principles, and he enthusiastically supported its campaign for Italian intervention in the First World War. By the 1920s the sprawling industrial quarters of Milan had become the dominant subject matter of Sironi's art and he adapted the disquieting Metaphysical imagery of de Chirico to evoke a powerful sense of alienation and post-war disillusionment. Sironi was the leading artist of the Novecento group in the 1920s, developing a muscular, monumental figurative style. He was highly regarded by Mussolini and secured several major commissions for public works during the Fascist era, abandoning easel painting altogether until after the war.

Mario Sironi, Composition, 1956 ©DACS 2007