Roberto Gaetano Crippa was born in Monza in 1921.
He completed his studies at the Brera Academy where he has Aldo Carpi, Achille Funi and Carlo Carrà as teachers. He graduated in 1947 and began his career as an artist exhibiting solo shows both in Italy and abroad. In 1948 he participated in the Milan Triennale and the Venice Biennale, where he will also be present two years later. In 1950 he signed the manifesto of spatialism “Proposal for a regulation” with Fontana, Scanavino, Dova and Capogrossi, while in 1951 he signed the “Manifesto of Space Art”; he visits New York where he meets Alexander Jolas, a gallerist who will organize exhibitions for him annually in New York. In the 1950s he participated in personal and collective exhibitions also at the Naviglio in Milan, Florence, Venice, Zurich, Stockholm, as well as (again) at the Venice Biennale and in collective exhibitions in Tokyo, Hiroshima, Amsterdam, Madrid, Paris, Rome, London, Buenos Aires.
His works are characterized by spirals and ellipses, “Totems” and polymaterials, followed by the period he defined as “collages” (starting from ’56), while in ’57 he made the first corks, barks and than to continue with irons, bronzes, steel pieces with a neo-primitive and symbolic content.
In 1960 he inaugurated the production of asbestos, collages with corks, newspapers, plasticized tissue papers and other materials. The exhibition activity is very rich in Japan, Holland, United States, Australia, France, but in 1962, during one of his numerous acrobatic flights, he fractured his legs and for a year was forced to use a wheelchair and crutches, impediment that does not block his vitalism; this is demonstrated by the fact that he also appears at exhibitions in Lausanne, New York and Paris.
In 1964 he had an entire room at the Venice Biennale.
He follows his very dense exhibition path in Italy and abroad, to which he tirelessly combines the passion for acrobatic flight, so much so that in 1971 he was invited to represent Italy at the 1972 World Aerobatics Championships.
The same year, however, his car crashed at the Bresso airport, where Crippa, aged only 51, died.