Franco Garelli

After attending the M. d'Azeglio high school in Turin, where the family had moved at the end of the Great War, he graduated in medicine and surgery. At the same time as his university studies he dedicated himself, as a self-taught person, to the design and creation of small sculptures in wax or wood, inspired by the works of Michelangelo Buonarroti who studied reproductions preserved at the Civic Library of Turin. In 1927 he made his debut at the Promotrice of Turin with an, not better known, Testa in cera which he had presented at the selection of the exhibition.

In 1932-33 he came into contact with the futurists L. Colombo (Fillia), M. Rosso and P. Oriani, as well as with F.T. Marinetti, with whom he shared the desire to adhere to the contemporary world, in controversy with the recovery of the art of the past proposed, in particular in Turin, by F. Casorati. The point of reference for the new generations of Turin artists was then L. Spazzapan, whom the G. will also attend later. In the first half of the Thirties, G.

distinguished himself above all as an acute caricature illustrator. He took part in the first documentary exhibition of goliardic life, organized by the GUF (Fascist university group) of Turin in 1933, where he was responsible for frescoing the "student room". The following year he took part in the first edition of the Littoriali dell'arte in Florence. In the Tuscan capital he resided for about a year carrying out military service; from the end of 1935 he was in Abyssinia with the rank of medical lieutenant.

In 1936 he set up his first solo show at the Turin Press Show exhibiting some drawings made in Africa; some of them and of the letters of these years will then be collected in the book With the Alpine troops in East Africa, published in Milan by Treves in 1937. From 1936 to 1941 he published some illustrations in La Stampa, L'Italiano and La Gazzetta del popolo of Turin , for which he became correspondent from the territories of East Africa.