Domenico (Mino) DELLE SITE

(Lecce 1914 - Rome 1996)

Sintesi di virata (Synthesis of a Turn)

Watercolour, with framing lines in green ink, on paper laid down onto a sheet of black paper.
An erased signature and date Delle Site 31at the lower right centre.
Titled SINTESI DI VIRATA in silver pen on the backing sheet, below the image.
93 x 93 mm. (3 5/8 x 3 5/8 in.) [sheet]
234 x 153 mm. (9 1/4 x 6 in.) [backing sheet]
Drawn in 1931, this small watercolour was the first work that Mino Delle Site showed to Enrico Prampolini, during the exhibition Prima Mostra di Aeropittura - Omaggio Futurista ai trasvolatori in Rome. At this time Delle Site was just seventeen and still at art school, which may explain why he decided to erase his name and the date referring to his school class at the bottom of the sheet.

This watercolour is a study for a larger painting of the same title and composition, painted in tempera on board in 1931, which is today in the Pinacoteca Provinciale in Bari, to which it was donated by the artist in 1987. 

Domenico (known as Mino) Delle Site was one of the youngest members of the second wave of Italian Futurism, and one of the most important exponents of the associated ‘Aeropittura’ movement. Born in Lecce, at the age of twelve he enrolled in the local art school, having already been employed as an engraver for a small school newspaper, and he continued to earn commercial commissions for his linocuts and prints throughout his studies in Lecce under the painter Geremia Re. In 1930, at the age of sixteen, Delle Site moved to Rome to complete his artistic education at an art college and at the Accademia di Belle Arti. Delle Site joined the nascent Futurist ‘aeropainting’ movement in 1931, while still a student, not long after visiting the exhibition Prima Mostra di Aeropittura – Omaggio futurista ai trasvolatori in Rome, and developing links with the Futurist painter Enrico Prampolini and the photographer and art dealer Anton Giulio Bragaglia.

In December 1932 an exhibition of Delle Site’s work was held at Bragaglia’s gallery in Rome, followed two months later by another solo exhibition in the artist’s native Lecce. Delle Site also took part in the exhibition Omaggio futurista a Umberto Boccioni at the Galleria Pesaro in Milan in 1933, as well as the Prima Mostra Nazionale d’arte futurista in Rome later the same year. Paintings by Delle Site were included in the Futurist section of the Quadriennale d’arte nazionale exhibitions in Rome in 1935 and 1939, as well as the Venice Biennale of 1938. In later years Delle Site produced a number of striking designs for travel posters, but by the 1950s his work had become almost fully abstract. In 1956 a solo exhibition of Delle Site’s work was mounted at the Galleria delle Carrozze in Rome, while a retrospective exhibition, containing works dating from 1932 to 1965, was held at the Rizzoli Galleria in New York in 1965. Another major retrospective exhibition was held in his native Lecce in 1989, while Delle Site’s work was also featured in several important exhibitions of Futurist painting in the 1980s and 1990s. The artist died in Rome in 1996.


The studio of the artist
Thence by descent to a private collection, Rome.


A. B., ‘Mino Delle Site’, Sudpuglia, March 1987, illustrated p.178; Luigi Carlo Fontana, ‘Continuità futurista di Mino Delle Site’, Salento: arte e storia, Gallipoli, 1987, illustrated p.119; Gino Agnese, ‘Incontri con Delle Site’, in Giuseppe Appella, ed., Verso le avanguardie: Gli anni del Futurismo in Puglia 1909-1944, exhibition catalogue, Bari and Taranto, 1998, illustrated p.336; Renato Miracco, ed., Mino Delle Site: Alle Radici dell’Aeropittura 1931-1934, exhibition catalogue, Warsaw and Cracow, 2001, illustrated p.25; Christine Farese Sperken, ed., Cataloghi dei musei e gallerie d’Italia. La Pinacoteca Provinciale di Bari. Vol.II: Opere dell’Ottocento e nella prima metà del Novecento, Rome, 2005, Vol.II, p.561, under no.592 (entry by Francesco Picca); Chiara Letizia Delle Site, ed., Mino Delle Site, 2006, illustrated p.43; Domenico Guzzi, Mino Delle Site: Forme assolute della geometria, Rome, 2008, illustrated p.12; Chiara Letizia Delle Site, ‘...Ricostruire l’Universo’, in Chiara Letizia Delle Site, ed., Mino Delle Site: Futurismo fra Arte e Tecnologia nel Centenario, Perugia, 2009, illustrated; Chiara Letizia Delle Site, ed., Centenario Mino Delle Site, 2014, illustrated p.41.



Lecce, Museo Provinciale, Mino Delle Site: Aeropittura e oltre, dal 1930, 1989, no.2; Bari, Castello Svevo and Taranto, Castello Aragonese, Verso le avanguardie: Gli anni del Futurismo in Puglia 1909-1944, 1998; Warsaw, Wloski Instytut Kultury, and Cracow, Mino Delle Site: Alle Radici dell’Aeropittura 1931-1934, 2001, no.4; Lecce, Museo Provinciale ‘S. Castromediano’, Mino Delle Site, 2006, no.59. 


Domenico (Mino) DELLE SITE

Sintesi di virata (Synthesis of a Turn)