Italy Sculpture 1

According to holidaysort, the proposals, multiple and even contradictory, by A. Martini; the conspicuously futuristic hypotheses of L. Fontana; the rediscovery of M. Rosso (the “visual memory”, the value of the shadow, the “state of mind” instead of nature) and the questioning of futurism influence the path of sculpture, which has similar developments to those of painting, with exceptional vivacity and variety of forms (which in fact acquired it an undisputed international credit) both in the choice of representation or abstraction – where anthropocentrism often remains the primary motif – and in the invention of unpublished plastic objects.

Of the “masters” to whom Martini had been a close example, even as a conscious but free elaborator of tradition, F. Messina (1900) continues an idealization of truth in almost neo-Hellenizing ways in the balanced harmony between fidelity to the model and autonomy rhythms. M. Marini (1901) and G. Manzù (1908) give, around 1960 and beyond, further proofs, new in many respects, of their personality. After the earthly and grave carnality of the Pomone and the tragic and grotesque monumentality of the Knights, begun to realize in the forties, Marini accentuates in an expressionistic direction the dynamic thrust contained from the beginning in his sense of volume, strongly raising or tilting the form which, sometimes shattered, violently involves the space. Thus begins, between 1955 and 1958, the series of Miracles, followed by the no less splendid one of Warriors and Shouts. Manzù, whose subjects are equally famous several times taken with different solutions – the Cardinals, the Dance Steps, the bas-reliefs of the Depositions and Crucifixions, which painfully express the themes of war and pain – leads to ever new effects of luministic vibration (thanks to a sensitive modeling within the firm limit of an engraved and fast drawing, and on a nevertheless solid volumetric structure) a whole path of civilization figural, from Phidias to Donatello, which would otherwise seem lost as our possibility of figurative proposal. In the group of older sculptors we will remember L. Broggini (1908) for the impressionistic, lumpy material of the nudes immersed in a twilight light; O. Gallo (1909) careful to turn the physicality of the models in absorbed contemplation; M. Mascherini (1906) evolved from a refined, archaic stylization, towards more autonomous structures, participating in architecture; and M. Mazzacurati (1908-1969) who, having overcome a post-war neo-Cubist experience, concluded in socialist realism, in a direction parallel to that indicated in painting by Guttuso. L. Minguzzi (1911), carried out in the 1950s a rather landscape than abstract research (Gli ” kites “, 1957; Lights in the woods, 1961), concentrates his expressionistic nature in vast dramatic compositions of characters and environments (see Men, 1970, work exhibited in the 10th Roman Quadrennial). And on the line of an expressionist realism even more openly committed, which at times will lead to informal anguish, is placed A. Fabbri (1911) who after a series of polychrome terracotta, of which it is possible to grasp the sources in a return to Giovanni Pisano, arrives at images of the most icastic of the weak tortured and persecutors, with a painful plasticity, furrowed by signs and glimpses of rude immediacy. A few years younger, P. Fazzini, E. Greco and V. Crocetti, all born in 1913. The first are famous for the fertility of inventions and narrative happiness up to the years of the Roman school. Since then he has produced, continuously renewing himself, a large number of works among the highest in our sculpture. Of his latest works we will mention the immense importance of Resurrection (1975; in the Hall of Blessings in the Vatican, built on plans by P. Nervi) conceived as an olive grove with trunks and foliage that recede creating restless gulfs of deep shadow, or emerge rushing against the spectator, in a sudden emergence of volumes and lights at the center of which the “gothic” Christ stands out like a spike. No less well-known is Greco’s sculpture (together with his graphics, among the noblest of our time), especially for the exquisite neo-Mannerist fluency of the nudes. feminine, elaborated according to geometric correspondences in which occasions or memories of the truth were objectified; and the light that slowly envelops them still persuades us of the intellectualistic decantation of their carnal beauty, whose peremptory presence is felt at the origin. The sixties were also fruitful for Crocetti, of which we cite portraits and nudes and animals and knights, led to emerge to the light in sensuous, but also resolute abandonments. Still in the vein of sculpture, mindful of the major Italian figurative tradition, we find G. Mazzullo (1913), a stonecutter who is robust in portraiture of simplified realism as well as in the stones of more discovered narrative aspirations; and M. Negri (1916) with his essential “metopes”, and characters and torsos (which look to the sober layouts of Romanesque sculpture) characterized by clear-cut profiles and strong geometrical projections. V. Tavernari (1919) sometimes appears intent on denying the relief in two-dimensional surfaces, barely modulated to receive grazing lighting, at other times, on the other hand, to restore solidity to the form.

Italy Sculpture 1