From January 28 to June 17, 2012 – Musei San Domenico
Finally, he has been rediscovered! An artist known by certain aficionados, but unheard of by numerous art amateurs, Adolfo Wildt (1868-1931), was a hair dresser and then a jeweller apprentice before discovering sculpture at the age of 13. At the age of 26, a Prussian collector –Franz Rose – signed a contract with him that covered the artist’s needs: for 18 years, the aesthete bought the first edition of each of his sculptures for an annual salary of 4000 lire. He then starts making from plaster, wax or, better yet, marble, hallucinating portraits, tortured faces, with sunk in features or amplified and exaggerated. In the restful venue of a restored church and its cloister, in what was Mussolini’s native town, his shocking creations, between symbolism and Art nouveau, are brought together with works that impressed him, from Cosmè Tura to Casorati.
After the death of its promoter Rose (1912), Adolfo Wildt was forced to compete for the first time with the art market. In 1913, he was awarded the Premio Principe Umberto for his design for the fountain show at The trilogy of Secession of Monaco, then exhibited in the courtyard of the Humane Society in Milan. From 1914 onwards he was able to regularly attend various international exhibitions. Furthermore, he also held a staff in 1919 at the Galleria Pesaro in Milan, while in 1921, 1924 and 1926 he exhibited at the Venice Biennale. In 1921 he founded his School in Milan Marble which then became part of the ‘Accademia di Brera and was developed in 1927 in a three-year program. Among his most famous pupils were Lucio Fontana, Fausto Melotti and Luigi Broggini.