Project Description

Angelo Titonel ( Cornuda 1938 ), Lying down figure

Acrylic on canvas cm 9,5 x 20, signed and dated ( 1976 ) upper left. On the back, title, signature and painter’s inscription, dated “Roma, 20/2/1976”, “a Luigi dall’amico Angelo” which attests the artwork’s origin from Luigi Fagioli collection.

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«Titonel was initiated to the mystery that unites those who, in painting, are involved in the research for a “new objectivity”. With this expression we do not refer to what is readable, deposited on the canvas. The figure is not the reassuring element that confirms the expectations of the viewer, reproducing the familiar or unusual aspects of his world. Objectivity is “new” when coming to the fore, under the guise of a meaning, of a recognizable form, is the absolutely indescribable. […] Some paintings by Titonel guest a strange comparison between human figures made with photo-realistic taste and abstract backgrounds, cleverly composed. This is not, I believe, nor quotations, nor of simple perceptual contrasts. In these compositions, representing the extreme development of the artistic research followed by Titonel, linguistically transposable figure and his rest of image are rather presented together. The viewer is called so to jumping abruptly from one to another. Thanks to this oscillation, he does so experience of the way in which truth happens in painting. To the painter’s insatiable eye the world never shows itself without a indecipherable residue. It contains more things than those named by the language. And what is lacking to the world, “said,” “talked”, “meaning” for the painter is precisely what is essential: it is the very meaning of that world, namely the absolutely singular way in which to his sight these objects absolutely normal – train, bodies, subways – are given.” ( Ronchi 1999 ).

Just the sense of mystery, of the uncanny, enigmatic hovers behind this seemingly serene depiction of a midsummer day spent at the seaside: the gradient horizon outline, the almost total absence of elements connoting the white beach on which is lying the figure of bather – modeled on the lines of advertising simplification – conveys latent anxiety which precludes an event, whose epiphany is precluded to the eye of the viewer, as in a tale by Buzzati.


Moved when he was very young to Milan where he graduated at the Higher School of Applied Arts at the Industry of the Castello Sforzesco, in Milan works as a graphic designer and art director for international advertising agencies. Left this activity to devote himself to painting, he exposes for the first time in 1964 in Velbert (Essen) in Germany. Settled in Rome, in the Seventies he is among the most important protagonists of the last season of Italian “Magical Realism”. In 2001 the museum of the Vittoriano in Rome hosted one his important anthological exhibition.