Lanfranco XXII

Lanfranco (1920-2019)


Oil on canvas, cm. 39 x 29


Lanfranco Frigeri, (1920-2019).  Lanfranco was born in a small village in the north of Italy, Quingentole (MN), son of a local sculptor. Lanfranco is considered one of the few true protagonists of Italian Fantastic Art in the second half of XX Century. Painter, sculptor, drawer, poet and writer.  He graduated at Accademia di Belle Arti in Bologna. After the Second World War he attended Accademia in Milan, with the direction of the sculptor Giacomo Manzù. In 1950 Lanfranco won an award for the Duomo of Milano. In 1955-56 he realized a sculpture “San Giovanni dell’Apocalisse” for the main cemetery of Milan, receiving the compliments of the British sculptor Henry Moore. Even if for those times critics were not always kind with him, Lanfranco was invited to exhibit a lot in Italy and abroad. In Paris he met André Breton and his talent for Surrealism explosed. In Sixties his masterpieces were mainly paintings, and the themes were: femininity, Eros, caducity of the world. His style had lots of inspiration from Salvador Dalí, who expressed approval for the Italian artist Lanfranco, as well as other main representatives of this Movement, such as René Magritte and Max Ernst, did. In this period he painted portraits for lots of important people as the Italian writer Dino Buzzati, the entrepreneur Vittorio Valletta. A big focus for the artist was also the religion; he realized lots of catholic works that are exposed in several famous churches in Italy. In 1970 the writer Brian W. Aldiss chose a painting of Lanfranco, “I grandi maestri del sogno”, for the cover of his book “A Romance of the Equator”; and in 1973 another of his paintings, “I pianeti del sogno e della speranza”, was the cover of the concept album “Felona e Sorona” of the band Le Orme. With the new century Lanfranco become officially a father of the Surrealism in Italy, realizing lots of exhibitions: Milan, Venice, Rome, Paris, New York.

Lanfranco was a close friend of Zanini family. Art Gallery Zanini Arte realised lots of collective and solo shows where this great artist was protagonist. In 2010 “Dalla Femme Fatale alla Donna Androide” at Refettorio Monastico of San Benedetto Po (MN). And his last personal show at Zanini Arte in 2018 “Lanfranco. Il viaggiatore del pensiero”.


Zanini Arte