Carlo Levi. Reality and the mirror

curated by Carlo Levi Foundation
critical texts by Daniela Fonti, Fabio Benzi and Antonella Lavorgna

Galleria Russo in Rome is hosting the anthological exhibition of Carlo Levi, curated by the Fondazione Carlo Levi, which, by the explicit will of the artist, has been promoting since 1976 studies around the work overall of the painter, writer and thinker among the most influential and acute of our twentieth century.
This extensive retrospective, organized in concert with the Levi Foundation on the imminence of the 40th anniversary of the artist’s death and more than 20 years after his last Roman exhibition at Palazzo Venezia, reinforces the long association that Carlo Levi had in the past with the Russo family.
The exhibition’s itinerary focuses on the master’s pictorial history and – as explained by Daniela Fonti, President of the Levi Foundation, “it privileges some lesser-known moments of the production Levi. It opens with a nucleus of paintings executed within the third decade of the twentieth century, in which the Metaphysical tension of Casoratian descent, is colored by a suffused lyricism tempered by evident moral tension (…). Beginning in the early 1930s, Levi’s painting begins to be characterized, contrary to the dictates of the regime, by a “wavy brushstroke” that reflects the
expressive tension and breaks up the contours of the figures by nullifying environmental details. Finally, the paintings of the 1940s, traversed by the clandestine struggle and the war, and characterized, in the tense portraits as in the leaden still lifes, by a renewed moral tension that slackens in the subsequent decades to arrive at a more relaxed relationship with nature and history.”
More than seventy works are on display-including five previously unpublished works (Mother Sewing 1929, Seated Self-Portrait 1934, Female Nude 1934, Crouching Female Nude 1937, Landscape with Cow 1960) – which recount the most important themes addressed by Levi in his vast pictorial production reflecting in portraits as well as self-portraits, nudes as well as landscapes, the spirit of those years and the dense network of loves, relationships and friendships, which the antifascist Levi – one of the highest voices highest in the Italian context of the first half of the 20th century, as Fabio Benzi points out in the text critic in the catalog – entertained with the international diaspora.