Although she often shifted between the role of artist and designer, Bice Lazzari is most widely known for her abstract paintings. Lazzari’s sensitivity to the complexity of shape and line enabled her to create both powerful applied designs and compositions.
Born in Venice in 1900, Lazzari developed an early interest in music and art. At the age of nine she was enrolled at the Conservatorio Benedetto Marcello where she played the violin. After three years, she began private piano lessons and left the conservatory. Desiring to be educated in art, Lazzari studied at the Fine Arts Academy in Venice. Here she developed her skills as a painter of portraits, still lifes, and landscapes. Because she was discouraged from studying the human figure, she pursued design and graduated in 1918 with a degree in Ornamental Design and Decoration.
By 1925, Lazzari, eager to experiment with style and subject, began exploring abstract painting. During this time, however, a reactionary version of landscape painting was still favored in Venice. Although Abstraction was appreciated in small circles of artists, Lazzari sought to find a more favorable means for expression and visual research. In 1930, her focused shifted from painting to the applied arts. She began working with abstract geometric designs, creating patterns for tapestries, cushions, and decorative panels. Lazzari found the realm of decorative arts more open to experimentation, and enjoyed the freedom it afforded.
In 1935, Lazzari moved to Rome where she continued her decorative arts career, painting murals and collaborating with architects. In 1942, she married architect Diego Rosa, with whom she spent the rest of her life. Although she continued to receive important commissions for her design work, including a design for the mosaic floor of Rome’s Cinema Fiametta, Lazzari decided to return to painting. Greatly inspired by music, Lazzari naturally aligned with the developing trends in Abstraction in the early 1950s. The informel
style, with its quick, intuitive brushwork and often heavily applied pigments developed out of the post World War II reaction to formal abstract structuring of composition. In this manner, Lazzari worked, creating paintings with bold lines inspired by both classical and popular music.
In 1964, Lazzari further simplified her paintings, choosing more minimal compositions. In 1959, due to the toxicity of the pigments she had been using, she abandoned oil painting for tempera, pencil, and later acrylic. Lazzari continued painting and drawing until her death in Rome in 1981.
Accademia di Belle Arti, Venice, Italy (1916-1918)
Consevatorio Benedetto Marcello, Venice, Italy (1909-1912)
wife of Diego Rosa
friend of Mario de Luigi
friend of Carlo Scarpa
influenced by Georges Braque
influenced by Piet Mondrian
influenced by Paul Klee