Skip to Content
Material and technique
oil on canvas
71 x 89 cm
Fabrizio D'Amico
Scarpitta’s painting, by now, is definitively removed from any reference to reality: in the packed, saturated, congested syntax of bodies and volumes, which no longer imitate any truth of nature, the colour explodes, manifold and resounding: whites, reds, and blacks engender a conflagration on the mantle of the ochre background.
Dated 1955, the work was completed at the end of a stylistically cohesive three-year period, which would last until 1957. The results would be seen above all in Milan’s Naviglio Gallery in 1956, at the 28th Venice Biennale held the same year, and the solo show of 1957 in the Tartaruga Gallery in Rome. Still oils on canvas, these paintings prefigure the artist’s highest and most celebrated season, that of the extroflexed canvases – frames across which torn strips and fragments of canvas are stretched, only sometimes coloured. Between 1955 and 1957, however, colour became the dominant note in works steeped in coruscated paint piled high on the canvas, oils that would later sit alongside sands and other materials or adhesives. What emerged were heavy, tormented, almost hostile images, paving the way for the hiatus of the avowedly extra-pictorial extroflexed canvases (“objects that I called pictures”, as Scarpitta himself later defined the Bende he completed at the end of the decade).
Related Themes