Spazzapan Luigi (1889-1958)


Luigi (Lojze) Spazzapan (Gradisca d'Isonzo 1889 - Turin 1958). Third of five children, he was born to Slovenian parents from the Vipaco Valley. Moved to Gorizia as a boy, he frequented the Slovenian cultural circles of the city and the Gorizia studio of the painter Fran Tratnik, a leading exponent of the Slavic community, well known in Ljubljana where he normally lived. He took part in the Great War together with the other two brothers fighting on the Carpathians with the Austrian imperial army. He was taken prisoner and, after various vicissitudes, managed to escape and return to Gorizia. Unfortunately one of the two brothers dies in battle. In the twenties he approaches the Julian Futurist Movement. From 1921, for two years, he taught drawing at the Royal School of Idrija where he had as a student Milko Bambič, a painter and art critic from Trieste, a sort of Gillo Dorfles from the Slovenian Community of Venezia Giulia and the Natisone Valleys.

He is a great friend of the Slovenian painter Veno Pillon from Ajdovščina and has frequent contacts with Ivan Čargo , Tone Kralj and Avgust Černigoj artists with whom he often exhibits. His artistic education also matured through the numerous journeys he undertook in his youth. In fact, he stayed in the major centers of figurative culture of the time, including Vienna, Munich and Paris, where he had the opportunity to assimilate the styles of secessions, Futurism and Expressionism. In 1928, he moved to Turin and joined the Group of Six. He is very active in the cultural environment of Turin and has an intense exhibition activity both nationally and internationally. In 1936 he was invited to the Venice Biennale where he returned in 1954 with a personal room. In 1947 he organized the Turin Prize together with his artist friends Mattia Moreni and Umberto Mastroianni and the then young architect Ettore Sottsass. In recent years his work has focused exclusively on painting of a clear informal and abstract matrix. An exhaustive collection of paintings and drawings is permanently exhibited in the Regional Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art of Gradisca d'Isonzo, which was named after "Luigi Spazzapan".