10 May-20 July 2003. These are paintings from the last years of the man who was most celebrated for his decorations of official buildings under fascism. The murals of the EUR complex E42, planned for a world fair but still-born because of the outbreak of world war two, are his, and so are the frescoes and mosaics in the Casa madre dei mutilati, the building on the Lungotevere flaunting that De Chirico-type tower between Castel S. Angelo and the Palazzaccio (the 19th-century law courts). However, these large and interesting art-deco creations, flamboyant and ample, are still not accessible to the general public.
Sironi began as a Futurist, but like many artists of his time, he later turned to art with a message. Public art was a period phenomenon which crossed all frontiers and was never a national one, as you can see in the heroic scenes which proliferated over the walls of the palaces of justice, post offices and airports from the Soviet Union through Nazi Europe to New Deal America from the 1920s to the 1940s.
After Sironi fell from favour he turned to canvas again and also went back to designing theatre sets and posters applied arts always being his predilection. Here in his last, more private paintings, on a smaller scale than his solemn murals, his essential, would-be archaic style is at its most accentuated and convincing. Urban and pastoral scenes are faceted, chunky and rough, in somber earthy colours. They are like collages or sturdy bas-reliefs. The art-deco flavour is seductive (Edith Schloss).
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Sironi. Gli anni della solitudine.
Palazzo Valentini, Via IV Novembre 119/a, tel. 0667662475. 10.00-19.00. Mon closed.