Primo Conti

Primo Conti was born in Florence, Italy, in 1900. There, his parents enrolled him at an early age in Eugenio Chiostrio School. Throughout his childhood he studied drawing, painting, and sculpture. At age thirteen he exhibited his drawing, At the Convent, at the International Exhibition of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture sponsored by the Societa delle Bella Arti in Florence in 1913. That same year he published his opera, Romance for Violin and Piano.

In 1917 (when Conti was 17), Pable Picasso invited Conti to Paris after seeing his works on exhibiton. During July of that year, Conti met the painter Giacomo Balla and made the conscious decision to move toward Futurism. The next month, August, he met Filippo Tomasso Marinetti, the Italian poet viewed as the founder of the Futurist Movement. After meeting Marinetti, Conti became solely focused on Futurism. In November 1917 he published his first book, Imbottigliature, and in December he co-founded the Florentine Futurist Group.

Throughout the 1920’s, Primo Conti created some of his most important Futurist works. At Geneva, he participated in the First International Art Exhibition of the Avant-Garde as well as the Florentine Spring. In 1923 and 1924 he participated in the Turin Quadriennale and the Vince Biennale respectively.

Conti’s reputation was growing and he was becoming more well-known abroad, particularly in Germany and Switzerland. As he continued his work, Conti became more interested in Abstract Expressionism. In 1941 and 1943 he exhibited two shoes (with Giorgia de Chirico) at the Gallery Firenze which showed both abstract and traditional works. He portrayed a synthesis of old and new with two paintings in 1942, Girl at the Piano, and Woman Sewing. In the 1942 work The Model Paints, it is obvious that Conti is anticipating a new style to come.
With the fiftieth anniversary celebration of the First Futurist Manifesto in 1958, a large monograph of Conti’s work was published. Then in 1962, the fiftieth anniversary of Primo Conti’s art was celebrated with a one-man show at the Palazzo Strozzi, organized by the Academy of Art and the Florence Tourist Organization.

As one of the founders of the Futurist Movement, Primo Conti is an important artist of our time. His ability to evolve artistically and to add his challenging fingerprint to the world of the avant-garde make him an artist who is both remarkable and memorable.