catalogue of the works
Natalia Sassu Suarez Ferri
Fondazione Aligi Sassu

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PRESENTATION Critical essay catalogue of the works Information

L'erezione della Croce, 1941



The theme of the cross is typical of the iconography of Corrente, as much as that of still lives and fusillades. It represents the sacrifice of man, the pain of our human and social condition, and the injustice of it. As an ex convict, Sassu gets closer to the religious topic not much driven by religion but by the implicit meaning that depositions and crucifixions could acquire in the fascist and war context. Even in this painting the lesson of the stays in Paris of the previous years are evident, when the social subject becomes the essence of every painting in the style of the masters of the French Nineteenth century.


These of 1944 are paintings that appear unusual in the art of Sassu. Actually it is a return to the theme of Uomini rossi, only painted with an expressionist manner. As in the Thirties, there is a complete absence of shadows; the main characters are inserted into a landscape, without any details that enable us to identify them. It seems to be the other side to the Parisian period of Sassu, a research not only on the classics of the Nineteenth century but also of Matisse, and once again the inspiration does not come from the choice of colours and from the poetic of expression but from the technique itself. Of this type of painting we will have other examples up until the Nineties.


Il cerchio, 1944

Primavera, 1944


Both paintings belong to "a group of landscapes that Sassu painted on the Iseo Lake during his tough experience of Resistance fighting and they document how the artist keeps practicing the genre although taken by other research directions. In Sassu the reading of the natural data is not just limited to the pure visual sensation, but it becomes, like in Bonnard, experience that is translated into a new system of signs." (Bonini, 1984)
It is possible to notice the evolution after La vecchia fornace of 1934, in a path that will reach its peak in the landscapes of Mallorca in the last decades of the life of the artist.


Lago d'Iseo, 1944

Lago d'Iseo, 1944


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