Mario Schifano (Homs 1934 – Rome 1998), Anemic landscape
Enamels and pastels on wrapping paper applied on canvas of 95 x 95 cm, signed “Schifano” on the back. The work is archived at the Mario Schifano Archive, curated by Monica Schifano, with an authentic released on 30/04/2018
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The reflection of Mario Schifano on the landscape genre articulates his entire artistic career. By the early Seventies, the exhibition “TV Landscapes,” held in December 1970, shows the search for a pictorial language capable of merging tradition with the irruption of new media in everyday life: in the works exhibited at that time, he begin to bring video images directly on emulsified canvas, isolating them from the narrative rhythm of the sequences to which they belong and offering them up with touches of color to the nitro. Schifano says about this technique: “The process is long and elaborate. But only in this way I can get those effects of realism and visionary that I run after with the imagination.”
Next to a location of his figurative code into a modern “new objectivity”, careful to the human intervention in the urban space, marked by the increasing presence of mass media, such as films, comics, advertising, signage, Schifano made a series of views, the so-called ” anemic landscapes”, created since 1963: tales of flattened visions, where the color spectrum is impoverished and every descriptive element vanishes. Maurizio Fagiolo Dell’Arco wrote, describing these works by Schifano: “Nothing sky, no sunset, no context; or rather, the ghost of the landscape, the sunset, the sky “.
That same sky, absent in the works of the Sixties, returns as the protagonist in the painting presented here, an anemic landscape, datable to the end of 1970s, framed by a double bituminous contour line, transposition in painting of a television screen. The painting looks like whirling impression of an open space that conveys a sense of panic anxiety, where the painted layer magma embodies the artist’s complex interiority. The material treatment of the color, the violence of the drafting of the paint, the multi-colored diagonal lines that cleave the horizon make this landscape a significant artwork in the artistic production by a now mature Schifano.