Franco Gentilini


Faenza 1909 - Roma 1981

1909 Gentilini is born on August 4th in Faenza, Italy.
1924 Assistant to Mario Ortolani, a ceramics manufacturer. Ortolani encourges him to take up drawing, and lends him art reproductions, in particular those of the Impressionists.
1928 One of his paintings is accepted by the jury of the XVIIth International Biennial Exhibition in Venice. First travel to Paris; a passion for the Impressionists is born in him.
1929 He moves to Rome where he meets Cardarelli, Barilli, Cecchi, Ungaretti, Renato Mucci, Falqui, Sinisgalli, De Libero and Mezio.
1933 He has his first one-man show at the “Galleria di Roma” of P.M. Bardi. It was a success from the art critics’ point of view. Waldemar George, while in Rome, visted the Exhibition and praised his paintings.
1934 His drawings appear frequently in “Primato”“Italia Letteraria” and “Quadrivio”; the illustrate poetry and novels of his literary friends such as Vigolo, Barilli, Cardarelli, etc.
1935 He is invited to the 2nd National Quadriennial of Art in Rome.
1937 He exhibits abroad for the first time at the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh.
1938 He is invited to show his work at the XXIInd Biennial in Venice.
1939 One-man show at the IIIrd Quadriennial in Rome.
1940 Large space at the XXIIIrd Biennial in Venice. In the anguished war atmosphere of the time, his works reflected the Expressionist current.
1941 He exhibits paintings at the IVth Quadriennial in Rome that reflect this new experience.
1947 He is awarded the 1st Prize at the “Art Club” in Rome. He exhibits for the first time within the survey “Contemporary Painters”. Goes to Rome to study Cubism. He begins to give his paintings an invented perspective.
1949 His first monograph appears, sponsored by Ferruccio Ulivi at De Luca’s in Rome. The scenes and costumes for Orazio Vecchi’s “L’Anfiparnaso” are made from his drawings for the Eliseo Theatre in Rome.
1950 Guido Piovene introduces his one-man show where drawings for the portfolio “La Metamorfosi” by Kafka, to be published by De Luca, are also exhibited. Awarded the “Vie Nuove” Prize. He is invited to exhibit three works at the XXVth Biennial in Venice.
1951 One-man show at the “La Palma” Gallery in Rome; introduced by Henri Calet and Renato Giani. He takes part in group and travelling exhibitions in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Switzerland, Austria and South Africa, sponsored by the Art Club of Rome directed by Enrico Prampolini, Pericle Fazzini and Virgilio Guzzi.
1952 One-man show at “Il Naviglio” Gallery in Milan; own space at the XXVIth Biennial in Venice; is awarded the Esso First Prize; his monograph edited by the Cavallino of Venice, with a critical essay by Alberto Moravia is published.
1953 One-man show at the “Rive Gauche” of R.A. Augustinci in Paris; among the visitors are Michaux, Jean Bouret, Henri Calet, René Bertelé and Gualtieri di San Lazzaro. Visit to Dubuffet.
1954 Wins the First “Graziano” Prize with a self portrait; spends some time in Sicily.
1955 Present in the Italian Art exhibition in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto; Wins the competition for the chair of Painting at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome.
1956 One-man show at “Naviglio” Gallery in Milan, at the “Cavallino” Gallery in Venice and at the “Selecta” in Rome.
1958 He is awarded First Prize at the “Maggio di Bari” and is invited to the XXIXth Biennial in Venice, after which he takes part in the survey Painters and Sculptors Awarded Prizes  at the XXIXth Biennial in Venice at the Palazzo delle Nazioni in Messina.
1959 Aglauco Casadio, the film director, makes a documentary on his paintings with a text by Milena Milani. He is invited to the 3rd Summer International organized by the World House Galleries. He participates to the International Survey of Graphic Art in Warsaw and in Lubljana and to “Grafica Italiana Contempoarnea” in Pisa. Stays in New York as a guest of Fortune magazine; there he is asked to do paintings of the bridges of New York, which were later to be shown in travelling exhibitions in various American cities.
1960 He takes part in the exhibition “Rinnovamento Arte in Italia, 1936-1946” in Ferrara. He exhibits in Milan, Paris, Lucerne and Berlin.
1961 One-man show at the Cavallino in Venice and at “L’Attico” Gallery in Rome. Exhibitions in Oslo, Hartford, Turin, Venice.
1962 He paints an altar-piece dedicated to Saint Anthony of Padua for the Motorway Church at San Donato Milanese.
1964 Travelling exhibition sponsored by the Istituto Italiano di Cultura and by Alitalia, in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya. He does the sketches for the scenes of the play “La Bugiarda” by Diego Fabbri on behalf of the Compagnia dei Giovani at the Quirino Theatre in Rome.
1965 Large retrospective exhibition at Palazzo Barberini sponsored by the Ente Premi Roma.
1966 A room at the XXXIIIrd Biennial in Venice, with an introduction by Cesare Zavattini who writes a poem inspired by the girl Ippolita, the subject of a series of paintings.
1967 The portfolio “Sera Italiana di Gentilini” is published with 6 original serigraphs; also the book “Un inverno a Parigi” by Gualtieri di San Lazzaro, with 12 original engravings, edited by Naviglio of Milan. He is awarded the 1st prize “Bramante e la Milano Moderna”.
1968 Gentilini awarded the President of the Republic’s prize, conferred to him by the Accademia Nazionale di San Luca, combined with an exhibition at the Palazzo Carpegna. He is invited to the “Premio Marzotto” in Valdagno.
1969 One-man show at the “Fuji International Art” in Tokyo.
1970 The “Opera Grafica di Gentilini” by Nerio Tebano is published; essay by Virgilio Guzzi, Galeone edition, Verona. An essay by Raffaele Carrieri entitled “Magie di Gentilini” is published by XXe Siecle, Paris.
1971 “La tematica fantastica di Gentilini” is published. A portfolio, “Le Chiese di Gentilinia”, with a story by Dino Buzzati, is published by Grafica Internazionale of Milan. A trip to Morocco from which he returns with notes and watercolours.
1972 Antological exhibition at the Palazzo dei Diamanti in Ferrara later transferred to the Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Faenza.
1973 One-man show at “Naviglio” in Venice and at the “La Gradiva” Gallery in Florence.
1974 Exhibition of graphic work at the Kasahara Gallery in Osaka. One-man show at the Studio Toninelli, Rome.
1975 One-man shows in Hamburg and in Berlin.
1976 One-man shows in Paris, Switzerland and Turin.
1977 One-man shows at the Santacroce Gallery in Florence, at the Studio Toninelli in Milan and Rome, at the Ettoreo Palace in Sacile.
1978 Exhibitions of drawings at the Prandi Bookshop in Reggio Emilia and one-man show at Galleria Forni in Bologna.
1979 One-man show introduced by Enzo Carli at Galleria Macchi in Pisa.
1980 Comprehensive retrospective exhibition at the ArtCurial in Paris, introduced by De Mandiargues.

1981 One-man show at the Totah Gallery in London. He dies on April 5th after a short illness.  


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