Corrado Cagli (Ancona 1910 – Rome 1976), The magician Baku
Tempera on paper with a silk-screen base glued on canvas cm 55 x 70 (aritst’s proof), signed (Cagli) and dated (1968) lower right.
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Trained in Rome, Cagli spent a long time in Paris and New York. He actively participated in the modern pictorial movement, experimenting all the techniques, including encaustic and mosaic, first in the “Roman school”, then through subtle formal research characterized by a fifteenth-century perspective, punctuated in an almost metaphysical sense in the chromatic values and of movement, up to arrive at abstract compositions. He then turned to realistic reasons to return to a search for spatial and geometric rhythms. His graphic activity and his commitment in the monumental and applied art that led him to important achievements (Fontana di Terni, 1931-35) and to participate with originality in the rebirth of the high school in Italy (tapestries of Asti).
The work presented here, a tribute to Carlo Bianchi, known as the magician Baku, one of the first Italian illusionists, who died at age 84 in 2016, made famous by a very-known piece of music dedicated to him by Natalino Otto, is one of the most significant example of the magical rationalism of Cagli abstractionist, performed by the painter from the Marches in the late sixties. The centripetal movement that runs through the refined juxtaposition of chromatic bands, which finds its focal point in the mask placed at the bottom left, is the result of a dreamlike vision aroused in the painter by Carlo Bianchi’s magic shows, such as Cagli had to have witnessed to. The work becomes a shining example of that lively eclecticism of Cagli that was revealed at the end of the Sixties, witnessed by the many exhibitions that go through the decade.
Numerous in Italy, more than 30, the events that – with personal or collective exhibitions – in the Sixties pay tribute to the various fields of interest of the artist whose name, known in Europe (exhibitions in Paris, Liverpool, Dublin, Helsinki, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Oslo, Hamburg, Munich, Athens) now resounds in the farthest points of the earth (Teheran, Tokyo, Algiers, Sidney, New York). The participation in the XXXII Venice Biennale of 1964, in which he is present with a personal room, also helps to make him known to the general public, consecrating his international success.