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b i o g r a p h y

 

1906 Born in Milan in Rovello Street. Historical Centre then a popular quarter that nowadays it's in the heart of the business centre. His home is next to the "Piccolo Teatro". When he was five his father died. He remembers his mother as being "gentle, intelligent, courageous" she used to tell him that he always wanted to be a sculptor. In respect of his fathers will Signori has had a certain psychological influence on his choices. His childhood was spent in a cheerful atmosphere. His grandfather on his mother's side one of the founder's of the Italian Social Party, in his constant referring point of education. Besides politics the family talked about music, literature and representational Art (figurative arts). When Signori was nine he read Dostoievski, he was touched, astonished by what he told and the way it was written.

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1920 At fourteen Signori enters the Academy of Fine Art of Brera for a short period. With his brother Bruno, they join the left wing youth "Arditi del popolo" "The courageous people" and participates the attacks against the fascists.

1924 He was not seventeen that he had to seek refuge in France to escape the fascists. His journey assumes epic remembers "at Domodossola as soon as the train moved on which I was travelling to the border, there was a cry "Down with the fascists!" the border officials started to run after the train, threating. But it was too late. We were all singing "Bandiera Rossa"".
Signori landed in Paris with out any money in his pocket. for his living he started to work in the Art Foundry Valsuani, where he
learns the technics bronze and meets Lipchitz.
At nights he frequents Montparnasse and breathes the Air of one of the most important artistics seasons of this country. His first works, however, are of classical print.

1926 A serious pleurisy obliged Signori to go to Switzerland for a period of convalescence. On his return the Academie des Beaux Arts in Paris ad Jean Baucher's student.

1927 Signori dedicates himself above all on painting, exploring many ways. Changes Academy, studying at Ranson with Bissière, in the painting course with Maillol and Melfrey in sculpter up to 1935.

1935 Signori attends the Academy of André Lothe, he is involved with Artistic Parisian circles of that time.
His street friends of that period where Severini, Magnelli, Campigli, De Chirico, De Pisis, 0. Di San Lazzaro among the Italians. Among the foreigners Sutine Giacometti, Leger and Zadkine. It's in that period the first exhibition at "Salon des Tuilieries", there he was commissioned to make a Bronze Medallion in memory of a French Diplomat. His poor health prevented him to go the Spanish war but he did what possible in favour of the Republicans.
Joins the "Associazione degli Artisti rivoluzionari" next to Malreaux, Aragon Lèger.

1939 The day before the declaretion of the second World War, while the Parisian artists had fallen apart because of the political events, Signori took refuge at Saint Raphael, in the south of France. During the Nazi occupation he is saved from deportation thanks to the medical certificate declaring of his serious lung disease.

 

1943 But Signori, returns to Paris (instead) where he actively takes part with the Resistance movement.
During a round-up he is captured by the Gestapo, they search his study where they find some clandestine Marxist publications, destroy most of his first period paintings, besides all his personal records and correspondence, held with the artists of the "Ecole de Paris" before the war.

1944 Thanks to a stratagem Signori succeeds in fleeing from deportation and joins the "maquis' in Central France. Later he takes part to the battle of Paris and liberation of the city form the Germans.

1946 Signori founds together with the painter Zingaro and reporter Lemmi "Francia - Italia" (France - Italy) Commiftee that carried out an intensive activity of getting together the culture between the two countries.
During that period Signori collaborates with "II Politecnico' has a big correspondence with Elio Vittoirni. In that period, as well, he organizes a trip to Italy with 30 French journalists exorted by Signori.
The group is received by De Gasperi, Togliatti and papa working with the Committee Signori introduces Guttuso to Picasso, he organizes the trip of Paul Eulard to Italy, he promotes many shows of Italian painters in Paris.
By the end of that year a crucial moment happed for his artistic life. Lionello Venturi in exile antifascist in Paris founds a committee for the realization of a monument of the Rosselli Brothers (killed by the fascists before the war). A competition was made: Signori who had known Carlo Rosselli takes part with a sketch made of chalk. He wins and is in charged by the jury made up by Severini Pagliero and Adam.
To make the work (which will be placed at Bagnoles sur I'Orne where the Rosselli Brothers were killed) Signori come for the first time to Carrara. It was a meeting that struck him for the rest of his life.

1949 Signori worked to make during three years that monument "Rosselli brothers"whis the marble of Carrara. his work was admitted the first monument abstract in Europe

1952 Between 1947 and 1952 Signori returns to Carrara several times but he hasn't got the economical means to settle there.
In the mean while his fame increases above all in France. The Italian public is not used to abstract sculpture, show little their appreciation for his works.
The sculpture "Portrait of a friend' shown at the Biennial of Venice 1952, bought by the municipality of Ravenna.
An outburst was made by the University students with tones of doubt tast. Meanwhile most of the artists who took part to the Biennial of Venice 1952 made a petition to the Public Ministry of Instruction for Signori to teach at the Academy of Fine Arts of Carrar4a, so that it could permit him to continue his works in Marble without thinking about the economical situation.
The nomination had arrived as headmaster at the Institute of Arts of Massa.

1953 The invitations to international artistic shows where numerous.

1956 That year Signori decides to stop teaching and goes back to Paris, where he finally thinks to be able to live on his sculptures.

1957 A personal show at the "Gallerie Rive Droite', with the presentation of the Academic of France Marcel Arland.

1958 The Biennial of Venice assigned him a personal Gallery, where he exhibits 15 works.
His personal exhibits are in all the work: London, Dallas, New York, Montreal, Tokyo.


1962
By request of the critic Jacques Damase he is asked to do a baptistery for the Plateau d'Assy church, in the High Savoy. Its a small chapel, that gathers the works of the most important artists of the century: Chagall, Ruault, Bonnard, Matisse, Braque, Lipchitz, Richier. Signori is the youngest artist that has been invited to partecipate to build the work. In the same year Signori buys a house- study at Monteverde of Carrara.

1963 Signori is invited to participate and represent Italy in the first International Symposium in Japan. There he meets Fumie Kakinuma, photographer, later becomes his wife. 1966 A great anthology exhibition of the last twenty year of sculpture in marble in the Gallery Charpentier in Paris, one of the most prestigious places to exhibit of the epoch.Signori is one of the participant.

1970 La Roche, one of the most important European pharmaceutical producers, commissioned a big bas-relief for the head office in Paris of the firm, at l'lle de Ia Jatte. Its about a work of 20 Metre lenght by 3 height, to do it he needed 100 Tons of Carrara Marble.

1974 Signori has a very serious heartattack, that makes it impossibile for him to go on with sculpture activity. The artistic lives in Marina di Carrara with his wife Fumie, while in all the world they continue the exhibitions of his works.

1980 A great anthology extabition sculpture in marble in the international Marmi Macchina in Garrara and in city of Milano.

1987 Signori is asked to do a sketch for the monument of Gaetano Bresci an regicide anarchist, after a long national polemic on the opportunity or not to do the work. Signori accepts, and makes the proof on condition that the comity ProBresci, guarantees him, communist ate least of 40 years, an anarchist funeral. The sketch is delivered but the monument is followed by long legal adn ever ending trails, it has not been made up to today.

1988 Signori passed away on the 19th September in Carrara.




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