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Portfolio >> Emilio Pettoruti

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  • Emilio Pettoruti - Midi en Hiver
  • Emilio Pettoruti - Rocks or Project XVIII
  • Emilio Pettoruti - Figures 2
  • Emilio Pettoruti - Mosaic 2
  • Emilio Pettoruti - Figure with Fan
  • Emilio Pettoruti - Two figures
  • Emilio Pettoruti - Head of a Woman
  • Emilio Pettoruti - The siphon Lacerba
  • Emilio Pettoruti - Vision I
  • Emilio Pettoruti - The Blue Grotto of Capri
  • Emilio Pettoruti - Fruit and drink
  • Emilio Pettoruti - Old Cordoba
  • Emilio Pettoruti - Winter in Paris
  • Emilio Pettoruti - Figure with Flowers
  • Emilio Pettoruti - Figures
  • Emilio Pettoruti - Self-portrait 1
  • Emilio Pettoruti - Mosaic
  • Emilio Pettoruti - Serenite
  • Emilio Pettoruti - Little Village
  • Emilio Pettoruti - The man with the yellow flower
  • Emilio Pettoruti - In Flight II
  • Emilio Pettoruti - Lady with green hat
  • Emilio Pettoruti - Red Wine
  • Emilio Pettoruti - The ringer
  • Emilio Pettoruti - By Day
  • Emilio Pettoruti - Self-portrait
  • Emilio Pettoruti - The folk songs
  • Emilio Pettoruti - Carolita
  • Emilio Pettoruti - Figures 1
  • Emilio Pettoruti - Firenze
All 60 Artworks from Emilio Pettoruti

Emilio Pettoruti (1892–1971) was an Argentine painter, who caused a scandal with  his avant-garde cubist exhibition in 1924 in Buenos Aires. At the beginning of the  twentieth century, Buenos Aires was a city full of artistic development.  Pettoruti's career was thriving during the 1920s when "Argentina witnessed a decade  of dynamic artistic activity; it was an era of euphoria, a time when the definition  of modernity was developed." While Pettoruti was influenced by cubism, futurism,  constructivism, and abstraction, he did not claim to paint in any of those styles  in particular. Exhibiting all over Europe and Argentina, Emilio Pettoruti is  remembered as one of the most influential artists in Argentina in the 20th century  for his unique style and vision.

Emilio Pettoruti was born in La Plata, on October 1, 1892, to a prosperous middle  class family. Pettoruti's art would be influenced by the modern, geometric layout  of the city, with the "silver color of changing tonalities." When Pettoruti was  only fourteen years old, he enrolled in the local Academy of Fine Arts, only to  drop out shortly after because he felt he could learn more on his own. He then  studied with Emilio Coutaret, an architect and teacher at the Drawing School in the  Museum of Natural History, where he developed a style in favor of caricature  portraits. It was one of these caricatures, specifically of Rodolfo Sarrat, that  provided him with the means to study abroad. In 1913, he was awarded a travel  scholarship to Italy, where he studied Renaissance painters in Florence, including  Fra Angelico, Massacio, and Giotto. He was strongly influenced by fourteenth  century art in Florence: "the inevitable influence of Greco-Roman art and  architecture, his interest in geometric proportion of the anonymous medieval mosaic  artists, and the equilibrium of the Early Renaissance paintings he copied  inevitably found their way into his own work."

While in Europe, he interacted with several European avant-garde artists, and  discovered the growing style of futurism. He began reading Lacerba, a Florentine  futurist magazine including literature and artwork inspired by the movement. He met  Futurist artists, and also exhibited at Herwarth Walden's Der Sturm Gallery in  Berlin. In Paris, he met Juan Gris, who influenced him to paint in a cubist style.  Of all the interests Pettoruti could have chosen to pursue, he selected art after  his maternal grandfather, Josè Casaburi discovered his potential artistic talent.  In 1913, after a commission from Congressman Rodolfo Sarrat, Pettoruti traveled to  Europe to study art. The theme of vertical city streets recurs in his art in 1917,  in Mi Ventana en Florencia.

In Italy, Pettoruti developed a growing sense of European Modernism, and studied  Italian Renaissance art of the fourteenth century. In 1924, Pettoruti returned to  Argentina, hoping to popularize the genre in his own country. Exhibiting both in  his native country and abroad, Pettoruti was a huge success. In 1930, he was named  the director of Museo Provincial de Bellas Artes in La Plata. His fame spread even  to North America, and in 1942, Pettoruti visited San Francisco for his first major  United States show. This show expanded Pettoruti's name, causing more museums to  demand his exhibitions. Pettoruti married Maria Rosa González, who later became a  subject in many of his paintings.

Pettoruti decided to step down as director of the museum, which was limited to a  more conservative direction during the administration of President Juan Perón. Amid  ongoing harassment and dismissals of university staff, Pettoruti returned to Europe  in 1952, and continued to paint. He wrote his autobiography, Un Pintor Ante el  Espejo (A Painter Before the Mirror) in Paris in 1968, and Pettoruti remained there  until his death on October 16, 1971.

Influence in Argentina

In 1924, when Pettoruti returned to Buenos Aires, European Modernism had not yet  been accepted by art critics there. His first exhibition was not widely received by  conservatives, however, in regards to Pettoruti's work, his good friend Xul Solar  wrote that "the Buenos Aires public can either admire or disdain him. But all will  recognize his art as a great stimulating force and a point of departure for our own  future artistic evolution." His work was considered shocking since "themes of  gauchos, landscapes, cattle, sheep, and horses were in those days the delight of  big landowners who imposed their taste in painting."

Modernism and futurism were not widely accepted. When Pettoruti arrived back in his  native country, he was not unheard of, since many articles had been written  specifically for local Argentine publications. The compositions created by  Pettoruti "insist upon references to local, specifically Latin American, themes  within a thoroughly modern, European-inspired stylistic context." Although his  style developed out of his native culture, Buenos Aires adapted much more to his  modern style. "He was, for Buenos Aires in the 1920s, a beacon of artistic  inventiveness who opened many doors for others, both artists and the public, to  enter new, uncharted territories." Pettoruti's limitless, modernist approach to the  arts had an everlasting effect on the art world in Argentina.


Emilio Pettoruti's work was "a prototype of the modern concept of harmony, of  order, and of geometric precision, near-scientific in its severity, but oscillating  between the lyrical and the purely spiritual." Preoccupied with technique, light,  color, and movement, Pettoruti managed to include harmony in his artworks  throughout his changing phases. After witnessing Pettoruti's advance in style, Xul  Solar wrote that "each stage of his development, even each technical advance,  corresponds to a new stage of his soul."

The Beginning

In Pettoruti's youth, while he was discovering his potential artistic talent, he  worked on drawings and caricatures of people. He created several caricatures,  enough to show forty-six at the exhibition hall of the local newspaper in Buenos  Aires.

Early European Period

While in Italy, Pettoruti was influenced by the growing Futurist movement, as well  as the fourteenth century Italian Renaissance. While his art reflected at different  times futurist, cubist, and abstract qualities, Pettoruti "rejected any  categorization of his art." He did not want himself or his artwork to be associated  with any one specific movement, since he was constantly altering his style. He  worked on space and shape in his compositions, considering color secondary in his  paintings. Pettoruti also played around with several mediums. He spread his  artistic talent to theater costumes, set designs, and stained glass windows. He  became interested in mosaics, exploring the potential mosaics could have on the  expansion of his ideas. Not being limited to one medium, Pettoruti incorporated  various materials found in garbage dumps into his mosaic to add texture and catch  the light in diverse ways. In his early years as an artist, he experimented with  "deconstructing ordinary, everyday objects, reconstructing them according to his  own rules, and then projecting them into his own artistic universe." This approach  to art applied to all of his mediums, including mosaics and painting alike.

Later Years in Italy: Politics and Art

In 1922, Pettoruti went to Milan, where his artwork was influenced by some friends  who were members of the Novecento Italiano. This group desired to represent "a  'purification' of Italian art, a re-affirmation of traditional principles in  painting, sculpture, and architecture." However, Sironi and Sarfatti, two members  of the Novecento Italiano, were also influential to the Fascist principles of  Mussolini. Pettoruti's discomfort with the rise of Fascism perhaps influenced his  decision to leave Italy and return to Argentina.

Musicians and Harlequins

Pettoruti's choice of musicians as a recurring motif in his artwork began in  Europe, but he continued to represent them through the 1920s back in Buenos Aires.  The musicians are either shown alone or in groups, and their eyes are always  hidden. The musicians Pettoruti depicted have a cultural link, since they were  "directly associated with the tango, the inimitable cultural expression of the  Argentine capital." One example of this motif in his painting is Quinteto (1927),  depicting five street musicians in the abstracted cubist style. In 1927, he  switched from representing musicians to representing harlequins, who similarly  always had their eyes covered while looking through masks. For Pettoruti,  harlequins were a "useful device for representing the human figure, but as an  anonymous, remote, generalized form, not as an individual." Of the many paintings  Pettoruti worked on, one of his first is titled Arlequin (1928), showing one  harlequin wearing a mask over his eyes and playing a musical instrument resembling  an accordion.

Still Lifes

In his early still lifes, Pettoruti included several similar motifs, including  bottles, glasses, and often musical instruments. He then moved to his Copa series  that was "near abstraction." These compositions were "composed of bright,  non-nuanced areas of color which tend to flatten out the form. The cup is observed  from every possible angle, top, bottom, and sides represented simultaneously." In  his later still lifes, Pettoruti focused on light, incorporating it as a "concrete  element of the picture," not simply including it for illumination of the scene. His  use of light is evident in many of his still lifes, like Sol Argentino (1941),  where the sunlight acts as "an essential life-giving element" and is obviously a  solid effect to the painting.


In the later years of his life, Pettoruti's style advanced towards absolute  abstraction. After returning to Europe in 1952, his interest "in the effects of  pattern and design" became apparent from his "dedication to geometry, with its  patterns constructed from hard-edged shapes." Many of his paintings consisted of  completely geometric compositions, as he "espoused a form of non-objective painting  that concentrated on the communicative power of color and controlled organization  of shapes." Pettoruti named these abstract works with highly romanticized names,  like Winter in Paris (1955) and Summer Night (1953).
[Biography - Emilio Pettoruti - 12Ko]
Emilio Pettoruti (1892-1971) était un peintre argentin, qui a provoqué un scandale avec son exposition d'avant-garde cubiste en 1924 à Buenos Aires. Au début du XXe siècle, Buenos Aires a été une ville pleine de développement artistique. Pettoruti carrière florissante a été au cours des années 1920, lorsque «l'Argentine témoin d'une décennie d'acti...
[Biography - Emilio Pettoruti - 15Ko]
Emilio Pettoruti (1892-1971) war ein argentinischer Maler, der einen Skandal mit seiner avantgardistischen kubistischen Ausstellung im Jahre 1924 in Buenos Aires. Zu Beginn des zwanzigsten Jahrhunderts, war Buenos Aires eine Stadt voller künstlerischen Entwicklung. Pettoruti Karriere war in den 1920er Jahren florierenden, wenn "Argentinien ein Jahr...
[Biography - Emilio Pettoruti - 13Ko]
Emilio Pettoruti (1892-1971) è stato un pittore argentino, che ha causato uno scandalo con la sua avanguardia cubista mostra nel 1924 a Buenos Aires. All'inizio del ventesimo secolo, Buenos Aires era una città piena di sviluppo artistico. Pettoruti carriera è stata fiorente nel corso del 1920 quando "Argentina ha vissuto un decennio di attività art...
[Biography - Emilio Pettoruti - 12Ko]
Emilio Pettoruti (1892-1971) fue un pintor argentino, que provocó un escándalo con su vanguardista exposición cubista en 1924 en Buenos Aires. A principios del siglo XX, Buenos Aires era una ciudad llena de desarrollo artístico. Carrera de Pettoruti estaba en pleno apogeo durante la década de 1920 cuando "la Argentina fue testigo de una década de a...
[Biography - Emilio Pettoruti - 14Ko]
Эмилио Pettoruti (1892-1971) был аргентинский художник, который вызвал скандал со своим авангардным кубизма выставке в 1924 году в Буэнос-Айресе. В начале двадцатого века, Буэнос-Айрес был город, полный творческого развития. Карьера Pettoruti была процветающей в 1920-е, когда "Аргентина свидетелем десятилетие динамической художественной деятельност...
[Biography - Emilio Pettoruti - 12Ko]
埃米利奥Pettoruti(1892年至1971年)是阿根廷的画家,他的前卫立体主义1924年在布宜诺斯艾利斯展览引起丑闻。在二十世纪初,布宜诺斯艾利斯是一个城市充满了艺术的发展。 Pettoruti的职业生涯是在20世纪20年代蓬勃发展时,“阿根廷见证十年动态艺术活动,它是一个兴奋的时代,一个现代性的定义是开发时间。”虽然Pettoruti是由立体主义,未来主义,建构主义,抽象和影响,他并没有声称涂料,特别是在这些样式。埃米利奥Pettoruti遍布欧洲和阿根廷的参展,想起他独特的风格和远见在阿根廷在20世纪最有影响力的的艺术家之一。 埃米利奥Pettoruti出生在拉普拉塔,1892年10月1日,一个繁荣的中产阶级家庭。 Pettoruti的艺术与现代城市的几何布局,影响,“银色改变音调...
[Biography - Emilio Pettoruti - 5Ko]
Emilio Pettoruti (1892-1971) foi um pintor argentino, que causou um escândalo com sua exposição cubista avant-garde em 1924 em Buenos Aires. No início do século XX, Buenos Aires era uma cidade cheia de desenvolvimento artístico. Carreira Pettoruti foi próspera durante os anos 1920, quando "a Argentina assistiu a uma década de atividade artística di...
[Biography - Emilio Pettoruti - 13Ko]
エミリオペトルチ(1892-1971)は、ブエノスアイレスで1924年に彼の前衛的なキュービズムの展覧会でスキャンダルを起こした人、アルゼンチンの画家。 20世紀の初めに、ブエノスアイレスは、芸術の発展の完全な都市だった。ペトルチのキャリアは"アルゼンチンは、動的な芸術活動10周年を目撃、それは、近代化の定義は、開発当時幸福の時代だった。"ときに1920年代に盛んにされたペトルチがキュビスム、未来派、構成主義、そして抽象化の影響を受けていたが、彼は特に、これらのスタイルのいずれかにペイントすると主張していない。すべてのヨーロッパとアルゼンチンにわたって展示、エミリオペトルチは彼のユニークなスタイルとビジョンのための20世紀にアルゼンチンで最も影響力のあるアーティストのひとりとして記憶されてい...
[Biography - Emilio Pettoruti - 6Ko]