Gillo Dorfles



The Italian art critic, painter, and philosopher Gillo Dorfles passed away on 2 March in Milan, at the extroardinary age of 107 years. A medical school graduate, Dorfles was committed from a very young age with the avant-garde currents of his time: he was one the founders of the Movimento per l’arte concreta (Italian abstraction current) and of the ADI, a pioneering association for the promotion of industrial design. He was a painter during several decades, but his most significant contributions were in the field of thought. In this sense, he was one of the principal aesthetics scholars in postwar Italy, a discipline he embraced from a technical, semiotic, and anthropological perspective, releasing titles that were read widely in Europe during the 1960s and 1970s such as Discorso tecnico delle arti (1952), Nuovi riti, nuovi miti (1965) and, most importantly, Il disegno industriale e la sua estetica (1963). He also published several monographs about artists such as El Bosco, Feininger, and Dürer, aside from two volumes on modern architecture. In his last book, Horror pleni (2008) he condemned how the ‘dirt’ spread by the mass media had replaced ‘true culture.’ 

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