The painting of the Gallery Berardi Pippo Rizzo under review, unpublished and accompanied by his beautiful inlaid wood frame, depicts a young girl with her shopping bag in a country lane, the details become indistinct to the intense light of the sunset in the background. The peculiarity of the signature and the date – “Pippo Rizzo T 1921” – becomes valuable key to properly place the work nell’iter artistic author.
From the sources we know that in June of ’21 Rizzo, along with fellow Cosimo Horace Pelligra, exhibited at the Teatro Quirino in Rome 76 works. On that occasion, used the signature “Pippo Rizzo (T) rentacoste”, in homage to his uncle, the sculptor Domenico Trentacoste, his first teacher and brother of the mother (Ruta 2008, p. 306). Of these works, we have no documentation because the invitation of the exhibition are not shown nor the pictures nor a list with the titles.
The discovery of Sicilian Sunset, therefore, becomes a valuable piece to deepen the crucial moment of transition from experimentation to the pointillist technique implemented by the futuristic young Pippo Rizzo on the occasion of his first exhibition in Rome, 1921.
Immediate ante quem is Hymn to the sun or Creation (Palermo, private collection) – work clearly inspired by The Sun Pellizza Volpedo and arc lamp by Giacomo Balla – with respect to which the representation is extended here by inserting the figure in the landscape, almost transfigured by the “color rain” that falls like a veil to soften the image of the real (Ruta 2008, p. 27).
From the pages of artistic chronicle of the time we have the only witness of the works presented at the Teatro Quirino: “Pippo Rizzo […] is a talented landscape painter, master of the palette, the colors of which he is served with rare distinction and with a sense of vibrant and true of reality and light.
Airy landscapes, skies of pearl and blue with flickering gold, from the musical breath in the calm seas, seas roaring and foaming in the storm; nostalgic views of the Sicilian countryside, movements in a solemn procession on the island of the sun, houses and HID between the green and cypress throwing up their straight melancholy “(GF, Two painters Orazio Pelligra and Pippo Rizzo, in” The Roman People “, June 7, 1921, p.3). With this record we have confirmation both themes from their birthplace – the “Sicilian countryside” – is the use of the pointillist technique, which would explain the “flicker of gold” encountered by the author.
The subject of Sicilian Sunset will then be taken Rizzo in the small oil futurist Sunset of 1929 (Palermo, private collection) where now the transition to the new technique is now accomplished.
Precisely from the comparison between the three works – Hymn to the sun, Sicilian Sunset Sunset and futurist – shows the type of operation performed by Rizzo. Starting from the peculiar divisiveness Pellizza, thronged with the brush strokes and stretched instead of the dots, visible in an exemplary manner in Hymn to the sun but also in Sicilian Landscape (Palermo 1921, private collection), Rizzo switch to more complex compositions where the flicker of the stroke elongated produces a sort of “dynamic light” (Ruta 2008, p. 26), visible in the Sicilian Sunset, which becomes the first step towards the implementation of more orthodox technique futurist first seen in works such as Poliparo (1921, Dubrovnik, private collection ) and then in Sunset futurist.