It is a century of distance to separate them, marked by two world wars, the avant-garde revolution, the radical social, economic, and cultural transformation that has affected their country of origin, Italy, and the whole Europe. Yet the painting by Pietro Sassi ( 1834 1905 ) and Pinot Gallizio ( 1902 1964 ), both Piedmontese - the first of Alessandria, the second of Alba - seems to be associated with a peculiar characteristic of their artistic practice: the coexistence of visceral attachment to their country of origin, to its traditions and customs, with an experimentation open to the instances of the more advanced European figurative culture of their time.
If, in fact, Sassi, little more than thirty, after a first period of training in his hometown and in Turin, travels to Europe following the training stages of landscape painters of the second half of the 19th century, first touching Geneva, where he attends the study of Alexandre Calame, then Savoy and, lastly, Paris, where, in 1865, stays for a month, visiting museums and exhibitions; Gallizio, for his part, will make Alba a creative experimentation laboratory able to connect the small center of Cuneo with some of the protagonists of the European neo-avantgarde.
In Alba, in fact, he founded in 1955 with the Danish artist Asger Jorn and Piero Simondo, the Experimental Laboratory of the International Movement for an Imaginist Bauhaus, place of an artistic research and theoretical elaboration, whose activity will be crucial for the creation of the International Situationist which the same Gallizio will establish in 1957, with, among others, Guy Debord, Michèle Bernstein, Ralph Rumney and Constant.
Ottocento Art Gallery
celebrates these two important Piedmontese artists with a double exposition, set up on the occasion of the inauguration of a new exhibition venue, next to the historic site in the downtown of Rome, thought as a space for contamination between the 19th century easel painting and the search for new expressive languages deflated in the 20th century, bringing in dialogue the search for artists far away for formation, culture and sensibility but capable of embodying Italic genius with similar talents and creative fury.
The exhibition A haunting desire of cosmos From Piedmont toward Europe: Pietro Sassi and Pinot Gallizios painting, from May 18 through June 19, 2017, is therefore a path built on two parallel tracks along which two significant artistic experiences are traversed. On one hand, the oil painting, stretched out in search of formal solutions that exalt the formal fittings of the landscape, adopted by Pietro Sassi, is visible in the series of real impressions performed in the eternal city, where in 1875 the painter of Alessandria moves definitely. On the other hand, plastics resins, metallic pigments, greasy shades, seismographs of the swirling pictorial ductus of Gallizio's works made in the early 1960s, reveal, as great art criticism Carla Lonzi wrote, "A haunting desire of cosmos". The same search for infinity that animates the views of a "disappeared Rome", painted by Pietro Sassi from the terrace of his studio, from the heart of the monuments of the imperial age, from the airy and endless views of the city's periphery and the Lazio countryside.
To enrich the exhibition itinerary, in order to document the artistic milieu attended by the architect Marta Lonzi, from whose collection comes the entire corpus of Gallizio's works on display, some works by Carla Accardi and Enrico Castellani, among which stands out the AL70 Lamp, a double cylinder of silicone-printed methacrylate produced by Accardi in collaboration with Lonzi in 1970.