Severo Pozzati, “Sepó”: posters and paintings

Severo Pozzati, Sepo,

"Preliminary work on restaurant brand", 1940

Although he was born in Emilia-Romagna, painter Severo Pozzati (1895-1983) honed his talent and found success in France, where he lived for almost forty years.

In the early 1930s, Sepo – as he was known professionally, or “Sepó” as the French pronounced it – founded his own agency, creating posters that would make the history of commercial art, such as the 1934 campaign for Panettone Motta or the 1938 one for Anic cigarettes.

That was his “day job”, but he never quit painting. He had a passion for Giotto, Masaccio, Piero della Francesca and Paolo Uccello since his youth, and made friends among some of the most important international artists of his time: Picasso, Braque, and Suzanne Valadon to mention but a few. He also joined the “Les Italiens de Paris” group founded by Filippo De Pisis, and contributed some of his works to the 1933 “First exhibition of Italian Artists in Paris”, which also showcased paintings by Modigliani, De Chirico, Casorati, Martini, Prampolini, and Severini.

In the 1960s, once he returned to Italy, he decided to start painting regularly again – with clear influences from his long experience in commercial art, as you can see in the selection below.

April 15, 2015