Titina Maselli was born in Rome on April 11, 1924 by Ercole Labroca, a well-known art critic in Rome, and Elena Labroca. In 1948 she had her first personal exhibition presented by Corrado Alvaro at the Galleria l'Obelisco in Rome. From then on Titina Maselli takes part in major national exhibitions, such as the Venice Biennale of Art (various editions, from 1950 to 1995) and the Quadrennial of Rome (various editions, from 1951 to 2000). In 1952 he moved to New York and, driven by the great fascination for the American metropolis, matured reasons already started - such as the urban landscape, the representations of boxers or footballers - reaching a new expressive force. Since 1955 there are several stays in European capitals, between 1955 and 1958 is in Austria, then return to Rome and leave it again in 1970 at a time of Paris. Among the major exhibitions include personal gallery Durlacher in New York (1953 and 1955), the Fondation Maeght in Saint-Paul-de-Vence (1972), the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville in Paris (1975), the Kunstamt Kreuzberg in Berlin (1979), the Art Gallery and Museums Municipal Macerata (1985), the House of Mantegna in Mantua (1991), Galleria Giulia in Rome (1998) and the Italian Cultural Institute in Strasbourg (1998). Maselli has also conducted an intense activity as a set designer, working mainly for French (Maria Stuart, Avignon Festival, 1983) and German theaters (Six Characters in Search of an Author, Berlin, Freie Volksbühne, 1981).
Titina Maselli was born in Rome in 1924 from the well-known art critic Ercole Maselli and the musician Elena Labroca. The childhood and early youth of the future painter took place in an intellectually fervent climate thanks to the circle of intellectuals, writers, artists who habitually attended the family home. Very young in fact she devoted herself to painting, exhibiting for the first time in 1948 at the Obelisco Gallery in Rome. It is an important exhibition that is presented by the writer Corrado Alvaro, who, recognizing the courage in the thematic choices - "a telephone, a typewriter, one of those papers that at night make a white lump on the asphalt of the city" - immediately understands the uniqueness of Maselli's research. Right from these early beginnings, a personal research emerges that does not leave the critical circles indifferent and that will continue to change and renew itself in the following years.
In this period Maselli progressively fine-tunes his iconography and the urban themes begin to be accompanied by subjects related to sports. Cutting out images from sports newspapers of the time, he began to immortalize footballers and boxers, thus enriching his imagery. His interest is focused on action, dynamism and vitality, with a research that developed simultaneously with that of the avant-garde and the Roman School, but from the beginning is characterized by an autonomous and very personal approach.
In 1950 Maselli took part for the first time at the Venice Biennale with Giocatore Ferito (where she would exhibit again in '54, '56, '64 and '84) and at the Suzzara Prize with Autista di Piazza. In 1951 he held a second personal exhibition in Rome at the Galleria del Pincio and at the end of the same year is present at the VI Quadrennial Roman.
In 1952, after her divorce from Toti Scialoja, to whom she had been linked for more than 20 years, Maselli decided to move to New York. She remained there until 1955, these three years represent an important moment for the development of his poetics. The atmosphere of the city, urban architecture and gigantism become fascinating themes to be explored. In May 1953 she exhibited some of the paintings made during his stay in the first personal exhibition in New York, set up at the Durlacher Gallery. In this period is born the relationship with the diplomat Marco Francisci of Basque with whom she will move to Austria since 1955.
In 1958 she returned to Rome, where, after long years of absence, is the protagonist of a new exhibition season that began in 1960 at the Obelisco Gallery with his first solo exhibition after the American stay. A first response to this second chapter Roman found expression in two personal exhibitions held in 1963 at the New Gallery in Bologna and Rome at the Galleria La Salita. The exhibitions were curated respectively by Cesare Vivaldi and Francesco Arcangeli, whose interpretations differed profoundly on the influence that the emerging phenomenon of pop art would have on Maselli's production. Thus the heated debate on the difficulty of placing his research in the panorama of contemporary artistic experiences already became central in the 1960s.
The results of this expressive season came in 1965, on the occasion of the first large anthological exhibition of her work in the spaces of the Nuova Pesa, whose catalog prefaces were Duilio Morosini, Enrico Crispolti and Renato Barilli. While in 1966 Michel Sager presents it in the catalog in a personal in the Municipal Hall of Exhibitions in Reggio Emilia.
Having reached the end of her relationship with Francisci and driven once again by a desire for discovery and disorientation, Maselli moved to Paris in the early seventies. These are the years of international recognition, in 1975 came out the first monograph dedicated to her written by Jean Louis Schefer, which is presented in Milan during a solo exhibition at Fante di Spade. In the same year takes place the exhibition at the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (ARC 2). In 1979 it prepares to the Kunstamt Kreuzberg in Berlin with in catalog critical texts of Jacques Dupin and Gilles Aillaud. In the seventies Maselli begins to engage with set design, an activity that will become very important in the following years.
In 1983 Maselli returned to exhibit in Rome, presenting 18 large paintings in a solo exhibition at the Galleria Giulia curated by Jean-Christophe Bailly. The following year, invited by Lorenza Trucchi, participates in the XLI Venice Biennale. In parallel some important anthological meanwhile were proposing punctual historiographic reconstructions. Among these that of 1985, held at the Museo Comunale di Macerata, and curated by Enrico Crispolti; in 1988 Gulbenkein Foundation of Lisbon and in 1989 at the Galleria Giulia where they are presented a series of recent paintings presented by a text by Achille Bonito Oliva.
The parallel commitment in the theater and in the exhibition activity strongly characterized even the last years. In 1990 she exhibited in a large retrospective in Mesola (Ferrara), while in 1991 she was dedicated another personal exhibition in Mantua (House of Mantegna). In 1997 the largest anthological exhibition of all time was tributed to Villa Foscarini-Rossi (Stra), curated by Marco Goldin.
After the prize President of the Republic, attributed in 2000 by Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, in 2004 the mayor of Rome Walter Veltroni and the alderman to the Cultural Policies, Gianni Borgna, meet at the Scuderie del Quirinale together with numerous other personalities of the artistic panorama to celebrate the artist on the occasion of his eightieth birthday. On that occasion they also announced the project of creating a large anthological exhibition that would bring together his pictorial and scenographic experiences, curated by Achille Bonito Oliva and the Archivio della Scuola Romana. The project was never realized but Maselli dedicated herself to it until his death, which took her on February 21, 2005 in her house in Trastevere.
A year after her death, a large exhibition centered on her large-scale paintings was held at the Auditorium in Rome and curated by the Archivio della Scuola Romana.
Titina MaselliTitina Maselli 8 May - 31 July 2021The Eduardo Secci Gallery is pleased to inaugurate Saturday, May 8th (4:00pm) a large retrospective of Titina Maselli (1924-2005), one of the most representative figures of the Italian art scene. The exhibition, curated by Alberto Fiz, launches a gallery program dedicated for the first time to an historical and critical...