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Ponti Art Gallery presents masterpieces by Giovanni Battista Costantini and Gino Marotta
Gino Marotta (Campobasso 1935 – Rome 2012), Frozen rose. Polymateric composition in methacrylate 90 x 50 cm signed (Gino Marotta) and dated (70) on the back. © Ottocento Art Gallery.

ROME.- Ponti Art Gallery is offering important masterpieces coming from several private collections. The selection starts from a masterpiece by the greatest exponent of Roman painting of the first decade of the 20th century, Giovanni Battista Costantini, Wedding procession, vital and joyful painting, dedicated to the theme of “feast day”, to the representation of a village Sunday, depicts the wedding procession, in a large-format work, in which Costantini photographs with absolute acribia a local tradition probably of Abruzzese atmosphere linked to the rite of marriage: the analysis conducted by the painter on the costumes of women in the foreground as well the physiognomic characterization of each character represents a proof of his vocation as an artist called to represent the peasant world with absolute fidelity.

The further important artworks offered by Ponti Art Gallery are a collage by the greatest Sardinian artist of her time, Edina Altara, two oils by Vincenzo Irolli and Raffaello Celommi and an artwork by Gino Marotta, Frozen Rose. In the laboratories of the chemical and foundry industries, Marotta experiments with new materials such as polyurethanes and polyesters and realizes sculptures using industrial processes for mass production. After the tapestries and the lead compositions he continues his poetry in search of increasingly unusual materials until, in the mid-Sixties, he created a first series of curious figures in perspex, a material at the time among the most innovative and resistant. Thus takes place that magical theater of the absurd, somewhat ironic and a bit melancholy; a transparent garden of plants, animals and artificial forms that play with myth and art, of which this “Rosa gelata” is one of the most successful examples, a prelude to the famous “Bandoni” and “Piombi”, paintings made in workshop with blowtorch.

The selection of the proposal continues with a two paintings by Bruno Croatto: a white and a black drapery, with their angular drapery, form the scenic backdrop for these two still lifes composed of vases, different in shape, material and decoration. In the first painting, a vase with a matt surface with decorative plant motifs contains a bouquet of magnolias, clumps of color crossed by the light that penetrates from above, from the left, with respect to the space represented, as evidenced also by the reflections on the chinoiserie in the foreground. In the second painting, instead, it is a triumph of yellow roses that dominates the composition which includes a small oriental-style casket of incredible transparency, painted with an extraordinary tactile rendering, and a glass from which hangs a very refined necklace. Taste for the intrinsic qualities of different materials, specifically chosen for the characteristics of gloss or transparency or sphericity, and sagacious ability in the appropriate combination of colors, constitute the peculiarities of these two still lifes by Bruno Croatto, an excellent engraver as well as a talented painter.

The selection of 20th century artworks closes itself, with artworks by Tano Festa and Fausto Pirandello and some remarkable examples of Schifano’s production: the triptych of watercolors made on loose papers applied on turquoise cardboard, in which the childlike drawing of two small boats with the imposing profile of a jets stand out against a celestial vault made up of fast and textured spatulae of color. The work presents itself as a swirling impression of an open space that conveys a panic sense of anxiety, where the magmatic pictorial drawing embodies the disturbing interiority of the artist. The material treatment of color, the violence of varnishing, the multi-chromatic diagonal lines that cut through the horizon make this collage a significant work within the artistic production of a by now mature Schifano like, on the other hand, the second work presented here, on the other hand, the protagonist is the heart, one of the most recurrent themes in the corpus of works created by the artist since the 1960s, a symbol of his indomitable passion as a rebel artist for any academicism and tireless in following an absolute path autonomy free of all ideological conditioning.

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