Davide Lacagnina

Premises and first abstract developments in Antonio Sanfilippo’s painting (1946-1947): political instances, visual sources, European openings

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A well-established historiographical tradition sets 1951 as the turning point for Antonio Sanfilippo (Partanna, Trapani, 1923-Roma, 1980) towards a fully mature, autonomous and recognisable personal style. His previous experiences have been thus almost completely reabsorbed into the blurred memory of the artist’s training between Palermo and Florence or into the choral analysis of the Gruppo Forma. The article propose a more careful reconsideration of Sanfilippo’s beginnings, here limited to the years 1946-1947, in order to reassess the quality of his production, which from the very first works stands out for the originality of its results. From his registration in the Italian Communist Party to his first stay in Paris, it’s the autonomy of his experiments on the sign that weave compositional hypotheses and shape the formal structure of his progressive abstraction, beyond the prevailing models of the time or the references shared with other young artists close to him.

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