Of Anglo-Swiss origin, from his childhood Thayaht lived in Florence. In 1915, following a brief stay in Paris, he exhibited a series of abstract drawings in Florence, meeting Florentine Futurist artists. Thayaht’s work (his pseudonym is perfectly “bifrontal”, and can be read just the same in a mirror as it can normally) moreover is typical of the eclectic spirit of Second Futurism that ranges from painting to sculpture, fashion to the theatre, decorative arts to graphic advertising, photography to interior design.

In 1918 he went back to Paris where he enrolled at the Académie Ranson, mixed with avant-garde circles and began work as a designer in collaboration with Madaleine Vionnet, creating original models inspired by Art Deco. The following year he returned to Florence, inventing and publicizing with surprising success the T-shaped work overall made from one piece of cloth. Although it was produced for the masses, initially it was taken up by snobby Florentine society.

Following a personal exhibition in Florence in 1920, he left for the US and at Harvard took courses in scientific dyes and dynamic structure. During the same period he continued to work for the Vionnet fashion house. After returning to Italy, during the 20’s he continued his career in the applied arts. Pioneer of Industrial Design, he not only exhibited samples of fabric and clothing but also top quality furniture and furnishings at the 1923 and 1927 ‘Esposizione Internazionale d’Arti Decorative di Monza’. These were also intended for mass distribution. He also tried his hand at jewelry design inventing “taiattite”, a silver and aluminium alloy with which he made primitive fashionable pendants, a style that is still popular today.

The synthetic and geometric style of his paintings and the dynamism of his sculpture led to his meeting Marinetti in 1929 and taking part in the show “Trentatre futuristi” (Thirty Three Futurist Artists) at the Galleria Pesaro in Milan. At the same time Thayaht, together with his friend Maraini, developed a love for photography and collaborated with the Teatro dei Fidenti, in Florence by designing numerous stage scenes.

During the 30’s he showed at the first Roman Quadrennial (1931), organised the Futurist Exhibition of Painting, Sculpture, Paintings of Airplanes and Decorative Arts at the “Galleria d’Arte” in Florence, showing at the Venice Biennials 1932 to 1936 and at the Milan Triennial in 1933 and 1936. In the mid-30’s he retired to Marina di Pietrasanta, where he concentrated on studying science and astronomy and after the end of WWII founded the CIRNOS (Independent Station for the recording of space information) with the aim of recording and providing proof of UFOs.

Written by: Gioela Massagli – Translated by: Catherine Biggerstaff

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