Asco - Atschko (1903 - 1970)
ASCO was born in Trieste on the 1st of June, 1903.
changing his name in Italian language in July 18, 1929, according to
a ministerial decree, Franco Asco's name was Francesco Atschko, because
of his Polish origin, from his mother's side.
when he became a grown-up person he got to know that his father was
Francesco Nasti, a noble Tuscan man from Massa Carrara. Before Franco's
birth, his mother had other sons.
husband suffered from tuberculosis and, in few years, he infected all
his sons, too.
One after the other his husband and sons died
and the woman remained alone.
In consequence of a secret relation, the woman
had another son, who she particularly loved and whom she took care with
He had an adventurous life.
He attended the first and second elementary school
in New York, and then he continued his study in Italy.
Very precocious artist, in 1916 he astonished
the public of his city by a sculpture representing the Emperor of Austria,
Francesco Giuseppe, which was placed in the Government Palace.
This work let him gain a scholarship and gave
him the possibility of attending the "Fine Arts Academy" in
Vienna, where he got a degree with profit.
Afterwards, the young artist took part in other
collective art-exhibitions with success.
In 1922 he won a national competition and obtained
the silver medal by the Ministry of Education. The same year Asco exhibited
with other artists at Ca' Pesaro in Venice.
In 1923 he took part again in many local and
national art-exhibitions. In the same period the Civic Museum Revoltella
awarded him a sum of money which allowed him to further improve his
art in the "Fine Arts Academy" in Venice.
In 1924 an important insurance group donated
his sculpture Flora to Museo Revoltella.
In 1925 it was made the first national art-exhibition
in his hometown and he won the second prize for the monument to Guglielmo
In 1926, invited by the Ministry of Education,
he participated in an Italian art-exhibition in Barcelona (Spain).
Subsequently, he took par to numerous exhibitions
among them the 17th, 18th and 22nd Biennial Exhibition of Modern Arts
In 1929 is invited to the Italian Artists Exhibition
In 1930 his sculpture Anima is shown at
Quadrennial in Rome.
In 1932 he was present in Vienna to an Italian
art-exhibition organised by the Biennial of Venice. In the same year
he won the gold metal awarded by the town hall in Udine.
In 1933 moved from Trieste to Milan, where opened
a beautiful studio.
In 1936 met Gin, a very promising soprano, and
a beautiful and lively woman.
In 1937, the Pesaro Gallery in Milan organised
for him an important personal art-exhibition, which consecrated him
officially. On that occasion both the Civic Gallery of Modern Arts in
Milan and the Ambrosian Picture Gallery bought some of his sculptures
for their collection.
Even if he did not show often his art works in
public, the Second World War did not stop the activity of this artist.
In 1947 he went to San Paulo in Brazil, showing
an art-exhibition in the Hotel Esplanada and gained a big success in
When he came back to Italy, in 1948 he presented
a personal exhibition in the "Cairola Gallery" in Milan and
completed a beautiful "Last Supper", with all 12 Apostles
and Jesus Christ made in white marble.
In 1949 he took a brave step, producing his works
in polemic with the artistic styles of those years, first in the "Nuova
Arredo" in Trieste and in 1950 in the "Cairola Gallery"
in Milan. A short documentary about these exhibitions was showed in
May 1950 at Arlecchino Cinema in Milan.
In 1951 he dedicated an art-exhibition to the
"Motherhood" in "Cairola Gallery" of Milan.
In 1952 in Florence he won the prize "Resistance"
at the international competition for the monument in the Unknown Political
Prisoner's memory. The prize was awarded to him at Strozzi Palace by
the Prof. Giulio Carlo Argan, art critic and later mayor in Rome.
In 1954, in Trieste, after having held a personal
exhibition, he won another competition for the bronze monument of the
"Immaculate" and, on the 11th of September, at last married
his adored Gin.
In 1961, in Milan, he won the competition for
the big decorative panel of the New Lido Sport Palace face.
In 1961 in Trieste he hold a personal art-exhibition.
In 1962 he began some great abstract works for
the exhibition of the "Permanent Museum" of Enzo Pagani in
Castellanza (Legnano) and, in 1963, he hold a personal art-exhibition
in the rooms of the "Skyscraper Gallery", also by Pagani.
In 1968 in Milan he presented his last personal
art-exhibition in the rooms of the "Cortina Gallery".
Franco Asco died in Milan on 27th March 1970,
in the morning of one Good Friday.
There are innumerable Asco's works, which are
part of public and private collections:
Various works are located in public museums in
Milan and Trieste.
A valuable San Francisco statue decks one of
the Milan Cathedral's spires; a Madonna statue adorns P.zza Garibaldi
Square in Trieste.
Some big abstracts sculpture can be seen in the
Pagani Museum in Castellanza (Varese).
Several funereal monuments are in Monumental
Cemetery in Milan and in S.Anna's Cemetery in Trieste.
Among the numerous high decoration works he made
in Milan, the ornament about the dance story at Ariston Cinema and always
in Milan, drawings on glass and panels at the Metro-Astra Cinema and
also bas-relieves in the Colosseo and Corso Cinema.
In Trieste, we point out the two figures on the
front of the Maritime Station, the two busts on the front of the Harbour
Office (Capitaneria di Porto, ex-Idroscalo) and the three statues of
roman jurists on the Low Courts (Palazzo di Giustizia).
At last we wish to mention the following private
collections: De Angeli Frua, Bassetti, Borletti, Bernini, Visconti,
Anthony Quinn, Sgarbi and so on.