Manlio Rho

Manlio Rho

He began painting in 1918, also dealing of posters and graphic design. Between 1933 and ‘34, abandoning the initial trends of the twentieth century, he approaches to abstraction in 1935 and participates with Radice to an exhibition at Milione Gallery in Milan. In 1936 he organizes in Como with Sartoris Radice the exhibition of Modern Italian Painting. In 1938 he joined the Valori Primordiali group and in ‘40s signs of the Gruppo Primordiale Futuristi Sant’Elia’s Manifesto with Badiali, Cattaneo, Licini, Lingeri, Nizzoli, Prampolini, Radice and Sartoris. He loved his homeland, where he was born and lived forever, but he was also well aware and sensitive to new artistic trends that came from abroad. In fact important stimulus was able to draw from the example of the Bauhaus in Weimar and Dessau, but also by neo-plasticism of Mondrian with whom he shared more than the ethical and theosophical superstructures, the concept of making art through pure relationships of shapes and colors.

“ART COULD SERVE HUMAN NEEDS AND
COULD CREATE A NEW UNITY BETWEEN
ART AND TECHNOLOGY.”

Composizione 74

Composizione 74 - detail

The decision to make carpets reinterpreting the pure forms and unique color palette of Manlio Rho is a further testament to the intelligent research conducted by Amini into the art world on a quest to discover and popularize immense artistic talents. Indeed, the paintings signed by the taciturn maestro from Como are seldom remembered or, at the most, relegated to a small local fan-base, while more often than not even historicized auteurs enjoy greater popularity, despite it owing more to market trends than artistic merit. Never mind: the undeniably international relevance of Rho’s abstract art is never called into question. Thanks to his experience with graphic design and billboards, coupled with the architectural research pioneered by fellow Comasco Giuseppe Terragni, Rho learned to master the confines of the canvas. The polygonal figures that are arrayed, interlocked and intertwined in Rho’s compositions play out these relations according to the so-called golden ratio, so as to arouse a sense of precision and harmony in the viewer. But the greatest satisfaction for Amini is to have been able to replay the whole gamut of Rho’s palette: the warmth - indeed, an almost silken touch - of colors that are actually borrowed from the outlying Lombard countryside. One has to stress that this operation focusing on the revival of Rho’s work would not have been possible without the heartfelt, comprehensive assistance of the artist’s heirs.