Edina Altara - Illustrator, Ceramist, Decorator And Painter 0 Commentaires

Edina Altara - Illustrator, Ceramist, Decorator And Painter

Sardinia has been and is full of creative, brilliant and courageous women. We have dedicated a page of the Gabbiano Azzurro Hotel & Suites blog to some of them.

Edina Altara, a beautiful woman, was an illustrator, ceramist, decorator and painter, was one of them in her own right: creative, multifaceted, singular, she was able to create, produce new and progressive objects for the time in which she lived.

Born in Sassari on 9 July 1898, she revealed her inspiration from an early age, creating her own toys with paper and scraps of fabric, and at seventeen she made her debut as creator of a series of cardboard toys, with Sardinian subjects including women with water jar, donkeys, men on horseback, family scenes. At the age of 18 she participated in the Civil Mobilization Exhibition in Sassari with her work "In the land of the intrepid". Her collage conquered King Vittorio Emanuele, who took it with him to Rome, and I may still be admired today at the Quirinale.

Edina Altara, soon became known even beyond the borders of the island. Her art was valued but also studied by many critics because it was part of the early twentieth century modern movement which was interested in how the new production systems in art should harmonise with the ancient artisan culture.

The artist did not use brushes or colours, but only small pieces of coloured paper, fabrics, glass fragments which she put side by side with great ability in her works. She combined her paintings with paper toys that depicted subjects from her native Sardinia: a goat, women dressed in Sardinian costumes or intent on doing their laundry.

Marrying a well-known designer in 1922, with whom she remained united until 1934, she dedicated herself to the new Art Deco. She created postcards and barber calendars produced for cosmetic companies.

In the 1930s she devoted herself to ceramics, creating designs for dishes, Sardinian or dwarf palm frames and tiles painted under display cases, she turned then to the majolica decoration for some majolica producers from Faenza and Turin, with her light and nuanced line, finding great appreciation among buyers.

During the war she was helped by her sisters in her pottery business. A small female entrepreneurship in the difficult war period.

Due to the war, she also had to close her well-known Atelier that she had opened in 1934 in Milan, the city where she created fashion sketches for the famous Grazia magazine and collaborated for a long time with the architect and designer Giò Ponti with his women's magazine «Bellezza» which also opened her up to the furnishings world and in the 1950s she designed the interiors of five transatlantic liners, including the Andrea Doria, launched on 1951, decorating the windows of the restaurant with still lifes.

However, art has its fashions, so Edina Altara's multifaceted activity was downgraded to mere decorative production. She then collaborated with illustrations for children's books, advertisements and fashion magazines.

She died in Lanusei in Ogliastra on 11 April 1983 after a life spent in art. As often happens, after her death her name almost disappeared, only to resurface recently with various retrospectives, which have been able to arouse a new interest in the public.

«The most resistant element is not concrete; nor is it wood, stone, steel or glass. The most resistant material in construction is art.» (Gio Ponti)


Written by Daniela Toti


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