Mino Rosso, Aeroscultura – la grande volta (1938)
A bronze sculpture cast in 1938, Aeroscultura – la grande volta (Aerosculpture – the great loop; 24.5x35x7.6 cm) by Mino Rosso is currently part of a private collection. Shaped as a circular, urban bird’s eye view on a pedestal, it is a clear example of 'aeroscultura' as promoted by the Second Futurism of the thirties. From afar, the subject seems just a ring but when examined more closely, if looked more closely, it is a sequence of houses and two airplanes. Despite belonging to different dimensions – aerial and terrestrial – all the elements are presented in the same perspective. The artist, presumably satisfied with the outcome of Aeroscultura, just a year later applied the same spiral and ascending movement to another composition, entitled Il paese degli aviatori (1939).
A New Theorization of the Relationship Between Subjectivity and Objectivity
The Rationalization of Aesthetics: the Straight Line
While Mino Rosso’s portrait of Mussolini (Architettura di una testa pertained to a ‘mechanical universe’, Aeroscultura can be considered as a refence to three specific Futurist texts: to the Manifesto tecnico della Scultura futurista (1912), the Manifesto dell’Aeropittura futurista (1929) and, most of all, the Manifesto tecnico dell’aeroplastica futurista (1934). This sculpture was a perfect materialisation of the concept of ‘aeroplastica’, defined as 'expression beyond painting and sculpture which contains, synthetically, some cinema […] some rhythm, some substance, some air and space' ('una manifestazione al di là della pittura e della scultura, che contenga, in sintesi del cinema […], del ritmo, della materia, dell’aria e dello spazio', Buscaroli 2009, 22). The group of houses and airplanes was cast as an aerial overview: together, they overlooked a rounded area, like a town square, and were represented from different points of view, abandoning a precise geometrical perspective.
The innovative values promoted by Futurism were all there, condensed within the same artwork. The revolutionary scope of Aeroscultura was both thematic and stylistic: velocity and modernity – the flight, the airplane, the bird’s eye view – were concretised according to a subjective linearity. The straight line seems to liquefy in favour of curved shapes creating a new, distorted and personal view; the variation between active elements and empty space compose a delicate balance. The resulting spiral recalls a hypothetic airplane route and, at the same time, references previous artistic experimentations such as Tato’s Spiralata (1930; see Sacchini 2010).
The Fascist regime utterly glorified the human invasion of the aerial space that occurred at the beginning of the 20th century. Flight, that illustrious act achieved by an incredibly strong Western society, became the emblem of an empowered modernity that was capable of (almost) anything. Moving from the ground towards the sky, the human race appeared invincible and unstoppable, exactly like the dictatorial regime aspired, especially with war looming. Rosso translated this situation by reducing his artwork’s proportions, composing a haphazard vortex: seen from above, cities and humans are powerless.
Alberti, Sandro (ed.).1993. Mino Rosso. Scultore e pittore 1904-1963. Turin: Editris.
Buscaroli, Beatrice (ed.). 2009. Scultura futurista 1909-1944. Omaggio a Mino Rosso. Cinisello Balsamo: Silvana Editoriale.
Lista, Giovanni and Ada Masoero (eds). 2009. Futurismo 1909-2009 Velocità + Arte + Azione. Milan: Skira.
Sacchini, Paolo. 2010. 'L’immagine del potere fascista nella scultura futurista degli anni Trenta.' Ricerche di s/confine 1 (1): 95-117.