BORRA Pompeo

Pompeo Borra | Original prints, lithographs, etchings and illustrated books




Pompeo Borra (Milan, 1898 - Milan, 1973) was an Italian painter.
Pompeo Borra was born in Milan in 1898. At the age of nine he was an orphan of his father, Cesare. He began his technical studies, but then decided to embark on an artistic career by enrolling at the Brera Academy of Fine Arts.
In 1916 he took part, as a volunteer, in the First World War. At the end of the conflict he devoted himself to painting in a small studio in Via dell'Annunciata, on the Milanese Naviglio which was still unveiled at that time, where he remained until 1938. He attended the association of the Milanese Artistic Family with whom he held his first exhibition in 1920.
In 1924 he took part in the XIV International Art Exhibition in the city of Venice (he later participated as an invited guest at the Venice Biennale in 1930, 1932, 1934, 1936, 1950, 1952 and 1956).

In the same years he met the group of the founding artists of the twentieth century movement, starting to take part in the exhibitions.
His paintings arouse the interest of Franz Roh, the famous theorist of magical Realism and of the new German objectivity, who invited him to the exhibition of Italian art at the Kunstverein in Leipzig in 1928.







His painting of severe purism, placed between magical Realism and metaphysical Painting, proposes squared images and compact volumes that recall fifteenth-century painting, blocked and silent situations inhabited by everyday objects and dreamy and immobile personalities, mostly feminine.

In this decade he collaborated with the Galleria del Milione, often going to Paris where he became friends with Léonce Rosenberg, director of the L'effort moderne gallery. He evolves his chromatic choices towards transparent and more luminous hues, even going through an abstract season.

In the years 1949-1950, he took part in the creation of the important Verzocchi collection, on the theme of work, sending, with a self-portrait, workmates; the Collection is now preserved in the Forlì Civic Art Gallery.

In the paintings of the fifties / sixties, Pompeo Borra abandoned the solid and monumental volumes of the previous works, creating works in which he anticipated themes that came back to life after his death and had a greater critical response in the eighties with the term "postmodern". The two-dimensionality, the bright colors and the extreme synthesis of the figures, always immersed in an atmosphere of metaphysical suspension, will be the stylistic connotations of his late works.

After World War II he also dedicated himself to teaching as a teacher of painting at the Accademia di Brera, of which he was director from 1970 to 1972.

He died in Milan in 1973.

His works are kept in important museums, institutions and private collections, including: Center Pompidou, Paris; GAM, Milan; Civic Museum of Art, Modena; MART, Rovereto; Brera Academy of Fine Arts, Milan; Civic art collections, Museo del Novecento, Milan; "Mario Rimoldi" Museum of Modern Art Cortina d'Ampezzo.