Pina wins the National Grand Prize of Brera in Milan for sculpture in 1906. He then moves to study with Rodin in Paris from 1909 to 1910 and this of course greatly influenced the feel of Pina’s work. Excited by the artistic environment in Paris preceding the first World War he exhibited at the avant-garde venues at the Salon des Artistes Francais and the Salon d’Automne and the Tuileries.
Pina became entrenched in the most sophisticated art circles in Montparnasse and a colorful story that has been handed down through time was on the occasion of 1917 when a dinner was being held for Guillaume Apollinaire the poet and Fernand Leger. Amedeo Modigliani had been living with Beatrice Hastings a journalist and before the dinner party went off, many of the guests knew there might be trouble between Modigliani and Alfredo Pina who had been having an affair with Beatrice. Matisse was present and was in the act of carving the turkey for the guests when Modigliani arrived and headed straight for Pina to attack him. Pina expecting trouble brandished a gun and fired. Luckily, for many reasons, Modigliani was not shot or killed. This draws a bit of a conclusion that Pina was of a passionate nature and it is certainly evident in his sculpture.
There is little that Pina sculpted that is not remarkable in some sense. Many of his compositions however are very avant-garde and still today are beyond most collectors. Like Rodin, he often chose to do the figure in contorted and or very expressive gestures that can become difficult to read in bronze. Pina had little concern for creating works that could easily sit on a table and so many of his great compositions are works that need special display and do not have one clear focal point. His best known and most cast work is a head of Beethoven which stands as one of the most striking representations of the composer. In addition, he is well noted for his busts of Wagner and Paganini.
Museums and Public Collections
Museum of Venice