words by Carol King
The work of Sicilian painter Renato Guttuso is celebrated in Rome in an exhibition at the Complesso del Vittoriano.
Marking 100 years since Guttuso’s birth with 100 of his paintings, ‘Guttuso 1912- 2012’ opens on 5 October. Guttuso was a rebel artist motivated by a strong sense of social responsibility. His political beliefs are apparent in both the subject matter and expressive style of his canvases, which often exposed social injustice.
Born in Bagheria, Palermo, Guttuso first came to paint decorating Sicilian carts in the workshop of a family friend. The colourful style and narrative element of his paintings on carts is evident in his lively works of groups of figures in social settings.
Guttuso went on to study art and moved to Rome where he lived for 50 years. The show contains works of his that feature the city such as the tumbling roofs seen in Tetti di Via Leonina (1962) and the Roman gardens in his La Visita della Sera (1980, The Evening Visit).
The exhibition attempts to put Guttuso’s work in context and illustrate how he was influenced by the contemporary avant garde in the shape of writer Alberto Moravia, sculptor Giacomo Manzù, poet Pier Paolo Pasolini and director Luchino Visconti.
‘Guttuso 1912-2012’ runs until 3 February 2013 and admission costs €12.