While F. Gentilini (1909) deepens a narrative interwoven with popular candor and cultural references, both of fourteenth-century painting (of which he also aspires to dry surfaces, such as frescoes) and of contemporary art, by means of delightful montages, T. Scialoja (1914) and G. Turcato (1912), originally also part of the Roman school, in its expressionistic points, abandon the figuration in the first years of the second post-war period. Scialoja, known directly theaction – painting and the new – Dada, arrives at the paintings of “footprints”, which want to document us – beyond the material hedonism and the gestural exhibition – the flow of a “personal time” as perception and projection of existence. Turcato instead totally relies on the whimsical freedom of the dynamicized sign; and even when he occasionally retrieves traces of figurative events, or incorporates objects, or seems on the point of dissolving into the informal, he celebrates with inventive happiness, and using all means, the very “pictoriality” of painting. On the other hand, the problem of these artists, Roman or not, was not (as it never was for anyone) a choice between representation and abstraction, but a commitment to emotional sincerity and expressive autonomy; what explains how often (and fortunately) it is difficult to classify them by poetic. In similar positions of thought are the Milanese expressionists of the groupCurrent: R. Birolli (1906-1959) with his swirling lyricism of signs and colors, intended as a landscape revived from within; and B. Cassinari (1912) and E. Morlotti (1912) who broaden the dialogue with European culture (as a Prampolini, a Magnelli or a Reggiani had done) not by importing foreign ideas but by comparing them with their own and with traditions, recent or not, and resuming the ranks of the avant-garde. If Cassinari shortens naturalistic occasions into an immediate and dazzling synthesis of color-light, elevating them to fantastic truth by virtue of a bright chromatic material, like an ancient stained glass window, Morlotti seems to lead his descent into the secret of the flesh of the world. (“I feel like an insect inside things”, the painter says of himself). And they are different ways of questioning the organic nature of nature, according to an attitude – both experimental and fantastic – typical of Italian thought and science. To them can be approached, for a certain affinity of purpose, the neo-romanticism of M. Moreni (1920) still objectivistic but strongly visionary, steeped in Nordic moods and indirect warning of the threats that loom over us.
But the interpreter of the cultural and human condition of the second post-war period immediately becomes A. Burri (1915), of which the poor materials and the signs (initially the researches of Fontana and Cy Twombly could have been a stimulus, rather than an example, which in Rome had a notable influence in the 1950s) appear documents and warnings of violence suffered: lacerations, burns, degradations, as many metaphors of the same knowing oneself as men in the torment of existence. From sacks and rags (mended and “raised” with a few notes of bright color) to burnt woods and irons, from wrinkled and flame-torn plastics to large cracks recent, emanates, with the sense of precariousness, that of the compassionate reflection on the shipwrecks of reality; and the values of painting, stamp and tone survive, although not obtained with traditional colors. With Burri, and with Fontana, the definitive break with the historicized concept of “painting” is made and the object-image is created which is neither the reproduction of reality nor the abstraction from it. We have left the scholastic classifications of the single arts (distinctions that are less and less definable already in the proposals of futurism) and we tend to new interpretations of space, light and color. This does not mean, of course, that painting dies; nor are there few painters of the new generation, who still make use of the tools of painting, both starting from the interrogation of the texts of futurism, pop – art, has little appeal in Italy.
According to Watchtutorials, the “abstract” Crippa, Vedova and Dorazio and the “figurative” Calabria start from the rediscovery of futurist vitalism. R. Crippa (1921-1972), signer with Fontana of the manifesto of Spatialism, goes through numerous experiences – of painting and sculpture – all characterized by an aggressive dynamism that tends to the constitution of a mysterious universe of images. E. Vedova (1919) who begins by re-elaborating impetuously Balla’s motifs, then arrives at a gestural painting, full of chromatic force even when he reduces color to the simple opposition of white to black; and eloquently denounces the violent and tumultuous aspects of today’s life. P. Dorazio (1927) who in defense of abstract art signed in 1947 with Perilli, Turcato,, against the illustrative and didactic limits of “socialist realism”, ideally reconnects, with the rigor and lyricism of his poetics of light-color-movement, to a whole long and complex line of modern art, from the scientific analysis of divisionism to Balla’s intuitions, and extends it to new hypotheses. E. Calabria (1937) instead wants to remain representative, but making use of Boccioni’s interpenetration of figure and environment, transposed in terms of social and political controversy. “Segnica” can be considered the painting of E. Scanavino (1922) which, however, is not resolved only in graphic vigor or in pure matter; but beyond matter and sign, which are therefore means and not ends, it tends to objectify a dark and grave world, which painfully emerges from the deep self. Between ” cartoons is apparently one of the components of V. Adami (1935), indeed the most evident, together with the spatial decomposition of Cubist origin; but Adami is interested in a moralistic surrealism, which cruelly analyzes and transforms everyday objects, making them charged with our memories.