Curated by: Anna Orlando
The Municipality of Genoa resumes its cultural activity, with an important appointment in a museum of primary importance such as Villa Croce , returned to the full enjoyment of the public; and no artist could be more suitable than Raimondo Sirotti to reopen the doors of Genoese culture with enthusiasm, with his way of light, colors, positivity and energy.
The strength of Sirotti's works therefore illuminates the summer of Genoa, and finds its ideal setting in the greenery of the park of Villa Croce; the container, a historic building with its own personality, is transformed into a completely different space and offers the visitor an unprecedented experience, in dialogue with the works and with the outside. As Anna Orlando points out in the essay that opens the exhibition catalog, the intent is to "accompany the visitor from a Villa Croce literally invaded by the scent of Sirotti's work to his intimate creative universe".
For this reason, an installation based fundamentally on immersive and engaging experiences, often multisensory, which interpret the great emotional strength of Sirotti's work and of a language that, albeit abstract, always starts from "a nature that becomes color plays a central role. ".
Based on the curatorial ideas, the realization of the exhibition was carried out with the collaboration of Francesca Serrati, curator of the museum, and with the “Studio Sirotti architecture and design” of the master's son, Riccardo Sirotti.
The exhibition, in which many Genoese families participate by lending works from their private collections, investigates the connections between the world of Raimondo Sirotti and the Ligurian masters of the twentieth century but also with the great protagonists of the Genoese baroque to which the artist was openly inspired. both by presenting experiences in which the artist explicitly dialogues with authors and works of the past, and by proposing combinations recalled by common elements on a visual, iconographic and chromatic level.
The path opens with a large canvas from a private collection, with a preeminent presence of the color green: the large painted surfaces become doors to an emotional world in which the viewer is invited to enter. The green also characterizes the ascent of the grand staircase of Villa Croce , animated by thousands of sheets made by the Genoese school children for the project "Sheets that become Leaves" (see attached sheet). At the top of the monumental staircase, green gives way to yellow, with the three large panels of the Brezza tra le ginestre triptych (1996) occupying the space in an explosion of light.
From the yellow flash of the brooms you enter a dark space, where the projection of Monet's Water Lilies dialogues with Sirotti's paintings of the same theme, an explicit homage to the French painter. On the other hand, Sirotti's work often recalls the suggestions of Impressionism and post Impressionism, especially for the emotional meaning attributed to color.
A room follows that tells the relationship between Edoardo Sanguineti and Sirotti: the poet dedicates a sonnet to the color that most identifies with the painter's work, “I see Green”. A multisensory experience will allow you to listen to the verses of the poem, to see the manuscript, as well as a series of objects reinterpreted by Sirotti on the theme of green, such as a curious, three-dimensional tie.
Between the end of the twentieth century and the beginning of our century, Sirotti's paintings and especially the floral subjects enjoyed great success with the public; the painter creates many of them, with a speed that evokes serial production: here is the room entitled "Sirotti Pop", where a series of canvases dedicated to flowers is placed in relation with the work of the artist who was able to understand the expressive potential of seriality in art: Andy Warhol, present in the exhibition with one of his Flowers.
From here, the exhibition leads to a series of comparisons between works by Sirotti and the masters of Genoese painting. Regarding the artists of the twentieth century, that of Sirotti is an explicit homage in at least one case: his Il Castagno, in fact, has as its subtitle Homage to Antonio Discovolo, who is present with his 1921 painting of the same subject from the GAM collections. - Gallery of Modern Art of Nervi. However, the exhibition itinerary also offers other combinations, for example with Sexto Canegallo or Plinio Lomellini.
The relationship between Sirotti and the Genoese painters of the seventeenth century is instead declared in a series of reinterpretations of Baroque works: from the 1995 re-enactment of the lost frescoes by Giulio Benso for the church of the Annunziata, to the tributes to Anton Maria Vassallo or Alessandro Magnasco, up to the large and spectacular canvas by Sirotti from the collections of the Chamber of Commerce with David's Triumph by Valerio Castello (2006). They are all artists that Sirotti chooses out of pure empathy: “The artist is interested in the exuberance and inspiration of some, while he remains completely indifferent to the good painting of others”, underlines Anna Orlando. In many cases the exhibition offers an unprecedented comparison between the original work and Sirotti's reinterpretation.
A well-known episode are the two large tapestries made for the foyer of the Carlo Felice, authentic transfigurations from two works by Grechetto and Bernardo Strozzi, the first of which (2005) closes the itinerary of the exhibition.