Sergio Maina


Sergio Maina he was born on 25 January 1913 and died in Castelrotto on 13 November 2009.

He married Denise Merk, a languages and music teacher in Geneva in 1938.

The couple moved to Zurich and then Ticino where their children Denis, Leandro and Verena were born.

He learnt art at a very young age, after secondary school in Lugano he went to the Design Day School in Lugano for his first apprenticeship with the artist Attilio Balmelli in Mendrisio. In 1931/33 he went to the School of Applied Art in the Landesmuseum of Zurich with Karl Hügin, the School of the Nude with Max Gubler and the Kunstgewerbeschule in Zurich.

In 1934/35 he attended the Grande Chaumière Academy in Paris with Charles Blanc, and in 1936/38 the Arts Academy in Geneva with Alexandre Blanchet. In 1952 he took courses at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Lucerne and in 1957 the Fresco School with Karl Hügin. He painted his last watercolour in Val Bavona in September 1997.

He was a member of the SPSAS Society of Swiss Painters, Sculptors and Architects, and the STBA Ticino Society of the Arts; he was also a member of the UNESCO International Association of Art in Paris and National and International Exhibition Panels.

Far from any plan that would lead him to any utilitarian objective, shy but determined in his solitary artist autonomy, he was always attracted to different artistic forms such as painting, music and varied activities such as yoga, natural medicine, gymnastics and philosophy.

A meticulous painter in his choice of favourite subjects: very detailed landscapes particularly in the strokes and clear-cut colours, then, gradually, delicate nuances appear, with a poorly-concealed propensity for nostalgic melancholy that, over time, does not wither the prolific garden of his memory. Worthy of note are the human figures, severe and thoughtful, his portraits show extraordinary expressiveness.

Over time, his paths, houses and trees become illuminated by bold brush strokes, sometimes red and flaming, where the artist’s vibrant spirit still demonstrates the soul of his eternal youth.

His life, lived in the form of a gratifying individualism, led him to not want to detach himself from his works.

A professional painter he restored paintings for a living, painted frescoes in churches and never abandoned music.

His modesty and avoidance of worldliness kept him away from deserved praise and recognition.

A talented and complete artist he worked on landscapes, portraits, nudes, still life paintings, compositions, posters, decorations, restored ancient art works, using different techniques, pencil, charcoal, wax, pastel, plaster, ink, watercolours, tempera, oil, frescoes and mosaics.

He had a great passion for music and he played the following preferred instruments: clarinet, ocarina, mandolin, guitar, piano and he was a trumpeter in military music.
His long and prolific life remained consistent until the end with his philosophical interpretation of life.