Salvatore Fiume ( Comiso, Sicily 1915 - Milan 1997) was an influential Italian visual artist, sculptor, set designer and writer.
Salvatore Fiume ( Comiso, Sicily 1915 - Milan 1997) was an influential Italian visual artist, sculptor, set designer and writer. Originally trained as an illustrator and engraver, Fiume dedicated himself to painting in his early thirties and held his first official exhibition in Milan in 1949; though the sculptural and architectural aspect is very strong in his work, he actively engaged with sculpture much later in his life, holding his first sculpture exhibition in Milan in 1994, three years before his death.
During his fruitful and busy life as an artist, Fiume created many sculptures, paintings and drawings, some of a very large scale, but all of characteristic vitality and intensity that is informed by African art, Renaissance painting and the work of modernist Italian artists like Giorgio de Chirico. In 1973 Fiume traveled to Ethiopia with his friend, the photographer Walter Mori, where he met an Ethiopian princess who soon became his partner in life; this journey and the life of his partner were a constant source of inspiration for Fiume, particularly seen in his jewellery designs featuring her portraits and images of her life back in her village.
Meanwhile, the opera stage became an ideal home for Fiume’s monumental sculptures and surreal aesthetic; as a set designer, he collaborated extensively with Teatro alla Scala in Milan as well as the Royal Opera House in London’s Covent Garden and the Teatro dell’ Opera in Rome. Also an active writer throughout his life, Fiume published several novels, many short stories, a comedy, a tragedy and two collections of poems.
In 2003 the Fondazione Fiume was founded with the mission to preserve and promote the artist’s work and legacy.