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Wild spirits Show all photos
Wild spirits Show all photos
Wild spirits Show all photos
Wild spirits Show all photos
Wild spirits Show all photos
Wild spirits Show all photos
Wild spirits Show all photos
Wild spirits Show all photos
Wild spirits Show all photos
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Wild spirits:

Antonio Ligabue and the eternal hunt

From 6 December to 2 June 2024

Palazzo dei Priori museum complex

Palazzo dei Priori museum complex

Piazza del Popolo, Fermo

Closed now: open at 10:30

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Antonio Ligabue appears absolutely anomalous among twentieth-century painters. In his violence, in his animal expressiveness, he can only compete with Van Gogh, of whom he can be considered an Italian variant. Ligabue's dissociated mental state led him to isolation, significantly worsening his suffering. In this experience of pain, only one consolation, only one possibility of redemption, fully explored: art, which allows escape from the condition that continues to be considered an illness. For Ligabue, art is an antidote to mental imbalance and is the only way to justify madness.


Antonio Ligabue's exhibition in Fermo is an anthology of ferocious beasts fighting for survival: a real jungle that the artist imagines with hallucinated imagination among the woods of the Po. The nature painted by Ligabue is the theater of violence implacable. For Ligabue, being self-taught means following one's own, instinctive language, outside the academy. Being self-taught is a necessary condition. His, from the beginning, is a melee with the canvas, in a visionary dimension, which has nothing to do with Surrealism, and which represents, through the archetypes of the forest, the jungle, the peasants' land, of the river, the primary truth of a man without history. In reality, before history, freeing instincts, drives, desires and, even more so, miming the scream of the tiger to better represent it, is a liberation as it was for the painter-hunters in the caves of Lascaux.


Ligabue measures himself against these primordial images, out of time and out of his time. Man's strength manifests itself as a beastly animal instinct. What is absolutely singular in Ligabue is that there is no single source of inspiration or any transcription of artistic and literary models. Ligabue's painting was born as a need for expression, through an imagination that remained infantile. His only source of inspiration is the zoo, the world of animals in captivity, then transferred to the Po. Ligabue comes from the Po and the zoo. Discomfort is the psychological condition of the artist, and discomfort is what distinguishes the artist from those who are not. The artist knows he is an artist, and understands his discomfort as a distinction.

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