Alberto Sughi: Profiles


Alberto Sughi, Sottopassaggio, 1957

“In the paintings of previous years, this painter from Cesena (not yet thirty years old) had already given proof of his strong personality; but Sughi’s subjects remained anchored to the idea of class in many of his works, his portrayal of the poor waiting in a doctor’s surgery, blinded by greenish light, were too poetic to be considered 'accusatory', and too 'polemic' to be interpreted simply as poetic imagery in painting. Something sweet and misty, almost an idea of 'bella pittura', covered the crude and disquieting brushstrokes of the contours, as though trying to escape. And the references to the Macchiaioli, to French realist painters from the first half of the nineteenth century, seemed to convey the rather solemn atmosphere of museums. But, by the end of the fifties, Alberto Sughi had won his first battle: his figures no longer appear to be on stage, no longer oscillating between the museum and the anecdote, but are presented in all their humanity as listeners, assistants, visitors, unwilling diners at a canteen. Only a memory, and a rather a sober one, seen in the translucent emptiness of the shades of white, which provide that frosty light within the 'naturalistic' surroundings, only a shadow of those figures immersed in the 'magic' of silence. It is clear, however, that in the simplification of the palette, the paucity of the texture, the painter has managed to provide the impression of a sharp and desperate artificial light, so foreign, and yet so present at the 'procession' of the crowd, its passing by – maybe within our own 'civilisation'- in the painting entitled Sottopassaggio (Underpass)."

Marcello Venturoli in Paese Sera (7 April, 1957)


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Alberto Sughi: Profiles