Roberto Crippa

Italian painter and sculptor. Born at Monza, Milan. Studied at the Brera Academy, Milan, under Carpi and Carrà. First one-man exhibition at the Galleria Bergamini, Milan, 1947. After a brief period of geometrical abstraction, collaborated with Fontana in the Spazialismo movement and signed the Spazialismo manifestos of 1950-3; friendships also with Dova, Peverelli, Donati.
Pioneered action painting in Italy with his calligraphic spiral paintings, ca.1949-52. Partly through contacts with the Surrealists Lam, Matta and Brauner, Crippa turned in the mid 1950s to painting totem-like personages, and from 1956 also made cast iron sculptures of these. In 1958 he began to make collage-reliefs incorporating wood, newspaper, etc., evoking imaginary landscapes or figures; his later collage-paintings tended to become more brilliant in colour. A champion at aerial acrobatics, he was killed in a plane crash at Bresso, Milan.