An interesting essay on Italian art in the 20th century. Using a style that goes against the popular trend of horizontal interpretation, Flavio Fergonzi tackles Italian 20th-century art adopting a purely philological approach. The author conducts an in-depth analysis of the works: their technique, style, and content; and documents associated with them: letters, critical texts, and the context.
Then he enters the imaginary, creative and executive workshop of the artists, using all the tools at his disposal: he examines the implicit and explicit visual sources available to the artist, analyzes the creative sequence of the works and the meaning they had in the artistic culture for which they were intended. For example, Fergonzi analyzes how Boccioni uses and embodies the works of international artists in his work (apart from what he refers to himself in posters, letters and writing about his work).
He conducts two in-depth ‘biopsies’: one of art in about 1910, another of art in about 1912. He also shows how the drawings of Modigliani are useful for understanding his sculpture, and follows his development from 1911 to 1913. He shows how, in 1919, Sironi painted works which were very different from each other. He describes Martini’s obsession with sculpture from different countries all through the ages and how it led him to create an original style.
These are just a few of the subjects tackled by Fergonzi in a style that will captivate the reader.