Italy Sculpture 2

According to iamhigher, Mirko has recourse to many examples of ancient Western and Eastern civilizations – whose styles are stolen and mixed in the service of a mythography, which deliberately traces backwards, and according to the present, the journey of humanity, in trace of its origins – (M. Basaldella, 1910-1969) giving us a version of the taste of primitives aware of the problems of man and his risky loss of consoling and constructive myths. Revealed between 1958 and 1959 with monumental figures of kings and queens combusti, A. Perez (1929) came to realize his own world, taken both from reality and from the museum, with a defining and composite modeling (neo-baroque: in the direction of a Neapolitan seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, of sepulchral moods; but also in line with a Vincenzo Gemito, when he tried to bring the ancient and the modern into a synthesis of civilization) and deliberately interrupted, often, by the intervention of the sudden fragment, which is a conscious and anguished suspension of trust and memory. F. Bodini (1933) also began with sculptures with the appearance of macerated and worn larvae, then involving the expressionistic and deforming component in clearer and more articulated structures, in segmented, smooth surfaces, engraved with exact signs, with effects of a visionary realism and grotesque that becomes the mirror of an investigation, even merciless, of custom and interiority. G. Vangi, two years older (1931), appeared a little later in the panorama of figurative sculpture, after fruitful material and abstractionist experiences. He works in the ambit of a naturalism with a marked metaphysical-expressionistic imprint, sometimes approaching hyperrealism for the pungent existential truth, at other times to macabre surrealism for the hallucinated fantasy that elects the themes of the defenseless loneliness of today’s man. V. Trubbiani (1937) is involved in similar problems, of freedom and innocence, victims of oppression and evil, whose symbiosis of creatures (animals, birds) reproduced with illusory evidence, and instruments of torture and death, combined with loans from utilitarian production, they rise – beyond the surreal appearances – to the symbol of a harsh moral denunciation. The same singular inventions of N. Finotti (1939) which move from eroticism as the last possible barrier against the absurdity of life, and therefore as a libertarian means of communication, conclude their procedure with daring metaphors in a bitter and severe surrealism. The work of these sculptors, such as Trubbiani and Finotti, already goes beyond the traditional limits of sculpture to cover a more open space of interventions and meanings, aesthetics invading life in unusual and different ways. One more step forward, and here we are faced with personalities who only partially participate in the history of sculpture: such as P. Pascali (1935-1968) who in the 1960s, in Rome, was a precursor and a protagonist of “poor art”disinterested designer, what a Bruno Munari could have been at the time of his first “useless machines”); and like M. Ceroli (1938) who, having discovered the humble, “popular” material congenial to him in the raw wood for packaging (as the material of the “sacks” had been for Burri), uses it with intentions of irony, of play, of spectacle, and with a very lively feeling of the ephemeral and the theatrical, that is, with two dimensions – of time and space – unusual in the illustrious tradition.

There are many, varied, and also intertwined, the roads that Italian sculpture travels. To those who want or must make use of a relatively justifiable classification, the wing of abstractionism may appear preceded, so to speak, by intermediate positions, which belong neither to the representative nor to the abstract array. A. Viani (1906) for example continues the geometricizing formal simplification of a certain avant-garde (from C. Brancusi and H. Arp up to H. Laurens and H. Moore) but his vision remains neo-humanistic, it is almost neoclassical, although immune from the nostalgia of the ancient. The Nuorese C. Nivola (1911) is certainly not abstract, although they cannot be defined as figurative, but if ever “signic” (with ancestry in primitive, nuragic and pastoral Sardinia), his gigantic “murals” cast in cement and sand on the walls of many buildings in the United States (where he is much better known than we are) after the meeting with Le Corbusier, in 1946, oriented his work in terms of architecture. Nor can A. Cascella (1920) and P. Cascella (1921) be said to be abstract, who work almost exclusively with stones and marbles: the first sculptor of an emblematic figurality for interlocking complementary forms that close and open to germinate further forms, almost in a surprise and in an emulation of the generative process (as in certain researches by Cagli); the second is oriented in a direction not far from Nivola’s intentions in the choices of a monumental archaism that recalls, with epic accents, the mythical ages of shepherd-kings and demigods. Even F. Wounded and his Navigators were not recognizable characters, but clear metaphors) for some years he has deepened in his anthropomorphism, moreover never refused, the feeling of a tragic destiny, which reveal the gashes of the form overflowing with lava, the painful levitations, the folds, the twists, as of flesh that opens and congeals on itself. Q. Ghermandi himself (1916) frequently invades the spaces of organic exuberance, of physical structure (of leaves, gardens, flights of birds); hence the charm of his ornate, witty and paradoxical fairy tale, and his confidence with matter which is more about making it human, and the spontaneous seat of myths, than assuming it as a signifier in itself.

Italy Sculpture 2