Dentro la Malattia
Alberto Sughi, Dentro la malattia (Inside sickness),1964 (Musei Vaticani)
If the human figure constitutes the leitmotif of Alberto Sughi’s work, the painting Dentro la malattia (Inside sickness) is an emblematic example of a more specific interest in human suffering that the artist started to portray in his works from the end of the fifties.
Dentro la malattia dates from 1964, and is described by the artist as follows: "it was inspired by personal experience, when I seemed to be in danger of losing my life". Flanked by similar subjects – Uomo nudo sul letto ( Nude man on bed ). Uomo coricato ( Man lying down ) – both also produced at the beginning of the sixties, when Sughi’s paintings often concentrated on a single individual, the painting obviously originates from an autobiographical event, but then goes beyond the personal to become the symbol of the "impression of sickness experienced by modern Man, living in an anxiety deriving from the idea of finality no longer illuminated by high ideals". This is the profound message of the image, and the work evokes the anguish that a lack of points of reference can generate when faced by the "fragility of existence". The link with sacred art is reinforced by Sughi’s formal structure, which here reproduces a highly original interpretation of pictorial references deriving from the Renaissance period, particularly Mantegna’s Cristo Morto. Whereas, to underline the sense of solitude, he chose to reduce to a minimum the context and stylistic comparison with Francis Bacon: the hazy forms, frayed, suspended between an apparent movement and a hypothetical disappearance. (Francesca Boschetti)
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