Gillo Dorfles, the Italian art critic, 1910–2018

Gillo Dorfles, the Italian art critic and artist, has died. He was aged 107 and had continued working throughout his later years. Having studied psychiatry his writing constantly returned to the ideas of Goethe, Jung and Rudolf Steiner. He taught aesthetics in the Universities of Milan, Cagliari and Trieste and published numerous books, among them The Becoming of the Arts (1959), The Kitsch (1968), The Becoming of Criticism (1976) and Conformism (1997).

As a painter he was, in 1948, one of the founders of the Movimento Arte Concreta alongside Atanasio Soldati, Bruno Munari and Gianni Monnet, which was formed to promote non-figurative art, specifically a form of geometric abstraction. An exhibition of Dorfles's recent work, which had veered towards surrealism, and in which he returned to his fantastical character of Vitriol (a name derived from the acronym of the Latin Visita Interiora Terrae Rectificando Invenies Occultum Lapidem, that is, 'visit the interior of the Earth; by rectification thou shalt find the hidden stone') formed part of the Milan Triennale in 2017. While his interests ranged from horses to medicine, Dorfles reflected 'Art is the only passion to which I have always remained faithful.'

2 March 2018