Mario Tozzi's geometry of purity on display at Reggio Emilia's Galleria de' Bonis

From February 23 to March 30, 2019, Galleria de' Bonis in Reggio Emilia is hosting the monographic exhibition 'The Geometry of Purity,' dedicated to Mario Tozzi, a master of the 20th century.

From Feb. 23 to March 30, 2019, Galleria de’ Bonis in Reggio Emilia is hosting a monographic exhibition dedicated to a great master of the 20th century, Mario Tozzi (Fossombrone, 1895 - Saint-Jean-du-Gard, 1979), an artist who is the subject of a critical rediscovery and who is experiencing a fortunate historical moment. Protagonists of the exhibition, entitled Mario Tozzi. The Geometry of Purity, will be several works representative of the artist’s most sought-after period, that of the white backgrounds of Suna (indicatively from the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s), named after the locality on Lake Maggiore in which Tozzi resided for many years. These are works that are part of the painter’s maturity, characterized by white, chalky, spatulate backgrounds reminiscent of plaster and fresco.

Alongside these paintings, early works from the second decade of the twentieth century, which already show great painterly skill and extraordinary chromatic sensitivity, such as Notturno of 1912, find space in the exhibition. Tozzi’s painting is enigmatic and out of time, his research revolving around a refined and selected chromatic range that plays on shades of white and pink, sometimes tinged with black and illuminated with blue. His female figures are hieratic and distant as deities, protected by a silent geometry inhabited by small stylized figures, objects and lines that constitute almost a mysterious lexicon of the artist.

Born in 1895 in Fossombrone, near Urbino, Mario Tozzi lived most of his life in Suna, on Lake Maggiore, in the family residence. In the 1920s he moved with his French-born wife to Paris. A cultured and refined artist, thanks to the richness of his education, he founded the “Groupe des Sept” (known as “Les Italiens de Paris”) with Campigli, De Pisis, Paresce, De Chirico, Savinio and Severini. “Holy monsters” of Italian Art, these young artists would dominate the art scene in 1920s Paris and come to international prominence. Mario Tozzi is a key artist for the twentieth century in Italy. With a style of pure volumes, he moves his research on the human body, the female body in particular, studying its sacredness in geometrizing forms and the gaze, empty on the outer world and all turned to the inner one.

The exhibition, with free admission, will open on Saturday, Feb. 23, at 5 p.m. and will be open until March 30, 2019, from Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., and on Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. For information call 0522 580605 or 338 3731881, send an email to, or visit the Galleria de’ Bonis website.

Pictured: Mario Tozzi, Il dopobagno (1961; oil on canvas, 80 x 54 cm)

Mario Tozzi's geometry of purity on display at Reggio Emilia's Galleria de' Bonis
Mario Tozzi's geometry of purity on display at Reggio Emilia's Galleria de' Bonis

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