Mario Comensoli

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x x Mario Comensoli 1922 - 1993: A short biography x
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x The unmistakable painterly character of Mario Comensoli ranks him as one of the most significant representatives of realism. His themes were consistently taken from contemporary society and translated into a visual language that sought the exemplary and the essential in a situation. His wife Hélène, who died in 1994, provided steadfast support for his work.

Mario Pasquale Comensoli was born on 15 April 1922 in Lugano. Despite his lack of formal education, he received a scholarship in 1943 from the Fondazione Toricelli that made it possible for him to attend courses at the Kunstgewerbeschule Zürich and lectures at the ETH Zürich.

His first painting, Piccolo Paesaggio from 1944, was purchased by the Museo Covico in Lugano. That same year, Comensoli relocated to Zurich. Between 1946 and 1946, he conducted several visits to Paris with encounters with Alberto Giacometti, Miró, Poliakoff, Stanzani, Pignon, Borés sowie André Fougeron.

1953: First major exhibit, at the Helmhaus in Zurich.

1958: Studio moved to Rousseaustrasse in Zurich.

His most important series of paintings: Velofahrer, the cycle of the blue-colored worker, Tell, Cinema, Discovirus, and Bewegte Jugend. Numerous commissions for murals and frescoes.

1974: The first retrospective of his work in the Museo civico Lugano, 1985 in the Kunsthaus Aarau, 1989 in the Kunsthaus Zurich. Additional important solo exhibitions: the Helmhaus in Zurich, Kunstmuseum Chur, Kunsthaus Glarus, Kunstverein St. Gallen, Castello Visconteo Locarno, Galleria d’Arte, Centro Design Lugano, Galleria S. Lucia Rom, Die Brücke Düsseldorf.

Public commissions: Catholic church in Meilen, Schwendi chapel, schoolhouses in Hedingen, Lugano, Zürich-Hardau, and Sta. Maria, Kursaal Heiden, electric companies in Castasegna and Löbbia, senior residence in Weiningen, Restaurant Pestalozza in Chur, Zunft zur Letzi in Zurich.

Mario Comensoli died on 2 June 1993 in his Zurich studio.

Posthumous exibitions in the Museo d'arte moderna in Lugano (1998), in the Mazzotta foundation in Milano (2002), in the Palais de Beaulieu in Lausanne (2006) as well as in the Pinacoteca Casa Rusca in Locarno (2008).


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