"Nudo di donna"

Year: '70s
Medium:Tempera and charcoal on paper applied on canvas
Status: Not available
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Alberto Sughi, a painter belonging to the Realist movement, was born in Cesena on October 5, 1928 and made his debut as a painter in the early '50s. He immediately chose the path of realism, within the debate between abstract and figurative of the immediate post-war period. Sughi's paintings, however, avoid any social temptation; rather, they put on stage moments of daily life without heroes. Enrico Crispoltinel 1956 framed his painting in the realm of existential realism. Alberto Sughi's research proceeds by thematic cycles. At the end of the 1950s, his work is based on the existence of man within society, the protagonist of the economic "boom", emphasizing the social loneliness of the individual through the narration of situations in places such as streets, bars, cinemas (e.g.: La scalinata sul Lungotevere, 1959, II grande bar, 1959-60). In the early sixties, he explored the human condition in its private aspect, in the solitude captured within the domestic intimacy (the figures who undress, the lovers, the man with the dog). In the two years '64-'65 sociological criticism is the protagonist, (in the great paintings "Politici al ricevimento", "La Classe Dirigente" or the monumental triptych "L'Ora Storica"). The years from '71 to '73" the so-called Green Paintings, dedicated to the relationship between man and nature (1971-1973), then the cycle The dinner (1975-1976) focused on the situation of man in private. At the beginning of the 1980s belonged the twenty paintings and fifteen studies of Imagination and Memory of the Family; since 1985 the series La sera o della riflessione (Evening or Reflection) has been in progress. The last series of paintings, exhibited in 2000, is entitled Notturno. In 1963 one of his works was exhibited at the exhibition Contemporary Italian Paintings, held in several Australian cities. In 1963-64 he exhibited at the exhibition Peintures italiennes d'aujourd'hui, organized in the Middle East and North Africa. In the '60s and '70s he collaborated with some of the most famous Italian galleries offering figurative art, including La Barcaccia in Rome and Pier Della Francesca in Arezzo, which remained for a long time the master's reference galleries. From the 80s to 2000 Sughi's exhibition activity saw significant exhibitions in public spaces in Italy and around the world, as well as exhibitions in various galleries in Italy and abroad. Italian and foreign museums have dedicated extensive anthological exhibitions to Sughi; among them the Gallery of Modern Art of Bologna (1977), the Gallery of the Manege of Moscow (1978), the Museum of Castel Sant'Angelo of Rome, the Museum of Fine Arts of Budapest, the National Gallery of Prague (1986), the Civic Gallery of Modern Art of Ferrara (1988), the Masaccio House in San Giovanni Valdarno (1990), the Assis Chateaubriand Art Museum in San Paolo of Brazil (1994) and the Civic Museum of San Sepolcro (2003). The artist has participated in the cycle of exhibitions "La ricerca dell'identità" in Cagliari, Palermo and Ascoli Piceno (2003-2004), and in the exhibition "Il Male. Esercizi di pittura crudele" at the Palazzina di Caccia di Stupinigi, Turin (2005) and at the exhibition "Il Ritratto Interiore da Lotto a Pirandello" at the Museo Archeologico Regionale, Aosta (2005). At the beginning of 2006 a great anthological exhibition of Sughi was held at the Palazzo della Pilotta in Parma. In 2007 two major anthological exhibitions of Sughi were presented at the Biblioteca Malatestiana in Cesena, curated by Vittorio Sgarbi, and at the Complesso Vittoriano in Rome, curated by Arturo Carlo Quintavalle. In 2009 Alberto Sughi's work was presented in Palermo at Palazzo Sant'Elia in a new large retrospective curated by Maurizio Calvesi. Of his years of training the painter tells us: "When I came to Rome in 1948 we slept on benches, in basements and life was poor. There had been war and so sleeping in places like this seemed normal to us, we didn't feel it as a suffering, as we could feel it today and what kept us going was the desire to be painters, to have a different thought, because there was great ferment, the old painters were talking and we all wanted to learn and do it together. It was and is all very beautiful because passion has always enlightened my work, even in the difficulties". Since the early years, Sughi's paintings have been affected by the debate between abstractionism and figurativism and, while portraying various aspects of metropolitan life, he does not allow himself to be captured by the heated political life, preferring to stage moments of everyday life without heroes in a figurative form that the art historian and critic Enrico Crispolti defines as "existential realism". Alberto Sughi's artistic journey proceeds, in a constant way, by thematic cycles, which have the flavour of the cinematographic sequence. The painter says of this artistic path: "I am interested in the journey, that journey faced with different awareness. I hope never to stray from what I am, to continue to collect the signals that come from life and the world. I can tell you that I am happy with what I have done and with my life that has given me so much and I would never change it with anyone else. I try to be faithful to this story by working to the limit. I want to stay with me, my painting and my life without thinking about whether I will do good things or not and I would really like to end up in my work". About the meaning and philosophy of his works, Alberto Sughi says in an interview: "I have represented solitude, the relationship with nature, the theatre of Italy, I have done everything I could meet and know in the moments of this country. For example in the painting I am doing (pointing to a large canvas in his studio, ed.), I am representing two men sitting on a beach while the sea is stormy, as if they didn't realize that it is no longer the time to be there. My paintings, as in this case, have always reflected the relationship between myself and myself and between myself and the rest of things. And looking at the canvas I think it could turn into something else". Sughi dies in Bologna on 31 March 2012.

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