Masterpieces of Italian Irregular Art
Opening: Thursday May 7, 2015, from 6.30 pm
May 8 – July 8, 2015
Finissage: Wednesday July 8, 2015
On May 7 the Gallery will open a collective exhibition showing a selection of paintings by seven Italian Masters (Umberto Bergamaschi, Curzio Di Giovanni, Pietro Ghizzardi, Agostino Goldani, Tarcisio Merati, Franca Settembrini, Carlo Zinelli): more or less thirty works, the most representative of Italian Irregular Art.
The habit of putting a circle round his subjects arose by chance during the exploratory phase when he was absorbed in copying a coin. Umberto Bergamaschi (1954) got a great satisfaction from it and he has never given up the circular shape. Each thing is presented as a pure effigy, without depth, in a fetal universe where time and space are banished. The opting to abstract and emarginate the elements from reality reflects his tendency to take refuge in a silent and protected universe.
Curzio Di Giovanni (1957) began attending the painting atelier Adriano e Michele since 2001. He executed his compositions with a well-defined line. Segmented like a mosaic, his subjects seem deformed also by the contrast between the tidy stroke and color (coloured pencils) spread over the border of the figure.
Born in Viadana (1906-1986) in a poor family, Pietro Ghizzardi, from the beginning, has given to his pictures the imprinting of the hard conditions in the country. He finds in panting the way to enjoy life and to reveal his unconscious attraction for the female universe. Because he is so poor, he starts to paint on used cardboards, in both sides, using coal, triturate bricks, earths, ochre, berries and herbs.
Agostino Goldani (1915-1977) spends the first part of his life in hardship (between war, the search of a job in Libya…) then he has been involved in a bombardment. He survives but he falls in a very deep emotional crisis. Then he retires into his room and discovers the art of painting. For almost thirty years he tries to win his anxiety in painting hundreds and hundreds of little pieces of paper: strange portraits, groups of people incapable to communicate but expressions of his unconscious.
Tarcisio Merati (1934-1995) rebels very soon against his own family life conditions of extreme poverty. When he is 25 years old he goes through a very intense psychiatric collapse: the misery, the frequent quarrels with his family and a job he doesn’t like, all that makes him very vulnerable. In a sort of omnipotence delirious, he reacts choosing a new social role. In 1959 he is hospitalized for the first time into Bergamo psychiatric hospital and in 1975 he discovers painting. Merati pictures his own personal alphabet, “uccelletti” (little birds), “macchinette” (little cars), all in a color explosion.
Great protagonist of Italian Outsider Art, Franca Settembrini (1947-2003) has been hospitalized into Florentine psychiatric hospital at 11 years old. Since 1976, for almost 10 years, she has been frequenting the art laboratory La Tinaia, painting with a lot of energy but in a discontinued way. In 1992 she entered into Castiglione delle Stiviere judicial psychiatric hospital for a small theft. There she attended the painting atelier where she restarted to paint her feminine universe of young longhaired girls, shining sun and very colored birds.
Carlo Zinelli (1916-1974) is the most famous and the most collected Italian Outsider artist abroad. And the first to be in Jean Dubuffet collection thanks to the psychiatrist Vittorino Andreoli’s recommendation. In 1947 Zinelli was hospitalized into Verona psychiatric hospital with schizophrenic paranoia diagnosis. His artistic life is intertwined with the Scottish sculptor Michael Noble that in 1957 opened a painting atelier into that hospital, under the Cherubino Trabucchi direction. The author spent a lot of time into that laboratory filling out his canvas with stylized shapes, people, animals, birds, until the hospital closing in 1969. Then he moved in another mental facility where he step by step stopped painting.