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Salvatore Scarpitta, Dimostrazione a New York (Vigilia a New York)
Material and technique
oil on canvas
65 x 80 cm
Fabrizio D'Amico
The small canvas is shot through, almost shaken, by elongated and  lacerated forms loaded with vibrant and varied colours – black, red, white, orange – which stretch along the horizon and soar upwards. In the inextricable heap of the mangled figures, it is possible to make out several inscriptions. “Not die”, is repeated in several places: an exhortation to respect the memory of the unjust accusation levelled against the Rosenbergs of being spies in the pay of the USSR, for which they were tried in McCarthy’s America and executed in 1953.
This “Demonstration (Eve) in New York” was dedicated to the case, an impassioned and at the same time lyrical and transfigured account of resistance against hatred and the abuse of man by man: an intrinsic part of his style right from his earliest years devoted to a tormented expressionism. From 1953 on, Scarpitta’s work was increasingly influenced by traces of Balla’s Futurism, unsettling his Concretist basis of the late 1940s; it was also to Futurism – accorded scant consideration at the time by the Italian avant-garde for having been implicated in Fascism – that he owed his way of inscribing the painting with letters and words. Dimostrazione a New York was exhibited at the first solo show the artist held at the Roman Tartaruga Gallery, with a preface by Mario Mafai.
Dimostrazione a New York (Vigilia a New York)
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