March 15 – April 28, 2018
Exhibition venue: Berardi Galleria d’Arte
Organization: Berardi Art Gallery
Event: Attilio Selva, Sergio Selva – Inside the studio
The exhibition investigates the creative universe of the sculptor Attilio Selva and his son Sergio, painter, freschista and mosaicist with an unprecedented and transversal gaze, through a selection of sculptures, paintings, drawings and sketches – many of them unpublished – coming directly from their Education.
In addition to dwelling on the episodes of tangency between the artistic paths of the two, the exhibition places their different personalities in dialogue, united not only by the common frequentation of the cenacle of Anticoli Corrado, but also by the predilection for an elegant and research art, does not forget the tradition of the masters.
A figure of absolute importance in the Italian artistic panorama of the first half of the twentieth century, Attilio Selva was born in Trieste in 1888. His path unfolded for over fifty years of activity, and went through many artistic seasons: from symbolism to an intimately lived classicism, up to to the monumental production of the Thirties and the Second World War, interpreted in a constant tension between the sentiment of the modern and the suggestions of the ancient.
Since its inception – think of the Roman Secession of 1915 – all of his work has been characterized by a continuous search for the beauty of form, supported by an impeccable technical ability widely recognized and admired by his contemporaries.
The happy and fresh inventiveness of the sketches, made for various commissions or as exercises of free imagination, are accompanied by some of the most famous works of the 1920s. Together with Ritmi, a masterpiece presented for the first time at the Venice Biennale in 1922, the original plaster of Primula and some portraits that are now in public collections will be exhibited, including the remarkable head of Claudio.
While Attilio directed his sculpture towards the classical ideal of beauty, his son Sergio, in a sort of non-controversial refusal, distanced himself completely from it, focusing with ever greater attention on the new languages of painting and at the same time on the recovery of ancient techniques of mosaic and fresco.
He worked throughout his life on large mosaic cycles and frescoes for important institutions (think of the tapestry of the grand staircase of the Farnesina, or the large mosaic of the Church of Santa Maria Consolatrice), at the same time carrying on with enthusiasm tireless pictorial research that they led from the tonalism of the Roman school to a synthesis tending towards completely personal abstraction.
His presence at the most important Italian exhibitions – at which he made his debut in 1934, when he was only 15 years old – was constant: from the Venice Biennale (1936, 1938, 1940, 1956) to the Roman Quadrennial (1935, 1939, 1959, 1972), passing for the most influential private galleries, where he exhibited some of the works proposed today by the Berardi Gallery.