The school of Achille Funi

Posted in Artworks

From 1952 to 1956 Davide Boriani and Gabriele Devecchi attend the artistic high school in Brera. They meet each other at the admission text. Grazia Varisco started the same school in 1954.

Since 1956 Boriani, Colombo and Varisco attend the Accademia di Brera and learn the fresco technique in the large classroom where Achille Funi teaches.

Giovanni Anceschi, instead, enrolled the Philosophy courses, based on the suggestion of his father Luciano. He attended the lectures of Enzo Paci (focusing on Cartesian Meditations by Edmund Husserl) and of Cesare Musatti, getting acquainted with studies on perception and psychoanalysis. In 1958 he started attending Funi’s course as auditor.

Boriani writes: “His teaching method, from real scale figure drawing to drafts, papers and finally fresco painting, created without forcing a preordered rhythm, steady and progressive, the organisation of a shared work that it did not encourage extravagant improvisations or introspective escapes, yet it did not impede either thinking and experimenting according to one’s inclinations, if one really wanted to do it. A concept of method and shared work that I believe was indeed determining in allowing us (as members of Gruppo T who even before its official establishment, already gathered together spontaneously at the school of Funi) to deal with the theorisation and realisation of our first, such different, kinetic works, while we were at the same time engaged in the realisation of a cycle of frescoes entitled Amori di Giove (Loves of Zeus).”

Text taken from the catalogue La scuola di Funi, Mazzotta, Milano 1988, p. 31

Grazia Varisco tells that the preparation of large wall for frescos was a practice were girls “were seldom admitted, onto scaffolds reached with a partial consent from Funi (‘wear trousers, though’) in order to reclaim my own space. Concerning clothes: in 1959 Funi portrayed my in a large painting as a student; during its execution, in the silent afternoons of his studio in Brera, the day before the pose he would tell me: ‘Don’t forget to wear the brown skirt as in the painting!’. The comparison between the two different clothing requests is peculiar… The role is the same: the student. The clothes change: the one for reality and the one for simulation/representation. To be a student and to be able to look like a student”.

Text taken from the catalogue La scuola di Funi, Mazzotta, Milano 1988, pp. 37-38