Project Description

Mario Schifano (Homs 1934 – Rome 1998), Anemic landscape

Enamel on canvas cm 90 x 90 signed (Schifano) lower at the centre. Work authenticated by the Mario Schifano archive (Rome), curated by Monica Schifano, and dated at the end of the Seventies/ Early Eighties.

INFO: if you need more information

Schifano debuts in the field of informal culture with canvases with a high material thickness. With works of this kind he inaugurated his first solo exhibition in 1959 at the Appia Antica Gallery in Rome. It is however on the occasion of the 1960 exhibition at the La Salita Gallery in the company of Angeli, Festa, Lo Savio and Uncini, that the critics begin to take an interest in his work. Abandoned the informal experience, he paints monochrome paintings, large papers glued onto canvas and covered with a single color, tactile, superficial, dripping. The painting becomes a “screen”, the starting point, the space of a denied event in which, a few years later, figures, letters and fragments of the consumerist civilization will emerge, such as the mark of Esso and Coca-Cola.
In 1962 Schifano is in the United States; he met Pop Art closely, was impressed by the work of Dine and Kline and exhibited at the Sidney Janis Gallery in New York in the exhibition The New Realist. In 1964 he was invited for the first time to the Venice Biennale. The artist now works for thematic cycles: the anemic landscapes, the revisiting of the history of art with the works dedicated to Futurism. He is attracted to images that can be taken from mass media and therefore from the collectivity of the community. This phase of Schifano’s work is so attentive, as Maurizio Calvesi, Maurizio Fagiolo and Alberto Boatto, as illustrious writers, such as Alberto Moravia and Goffredo Parise.

The attention to the natural characterizes all of Schifano’s current research: landscapes, water lilies, wheat fields, sea movements, stretches of sand are recreated, reinvented, filtered through memories, impulses, sensations, outcrops of the deep, sequences of images conveyed by television sets, advertising, rotogravure, and are therefore configured as memory geographies. From this perspective, the magmatic landscape, presented here, whose profile is obliterated by a transversal band of green paint, is inscribed within a square perimeter evoking the television screen.
In 1990 the Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome dedicated a review entitled “Divulgare”, with large format works created for the occasion. In 1996 Schifano pays homage to his auxiliary muse, that is to say on television, intended as a continuous flow of images capable of structuring itself as the true and unique all-encompassing reality of our era. If at the end of the Sixties he limited himself to extrapolating from the television programs of the single frames and projecting them out of context onto the canvas, now, instead, he intervenes on the pictorial images, further changing their meaning.