Pinacoteca Dantesca

pinacoteca-dantesca-2021“Nel gennaio del 1994 quando riceve dal Prof. Corrado Gizzi l’allora Direttore dell’istituto di Studi e Ricerche ‘Casa di Dante in Abruzzo’ l’invito a realizzare un’ opera con soggetto dantesco a scelta dell’artista da destinare alla Pinacoteca F. Bellonzi , Sughi sta ancora lavorando ad un gruppo di dipinti dal Titolo Andare dove? Il nucleo principale del ciclo risale agli anni 1991-1992, Sughi a proposito scrive :

“’Sono gli anni dell’implosione dell’Unione Sovietica , la fine per molti di una speranza di un’ideologia che aveva attraversato tutta la prima metà e una parte cospicua della seconda metà del 900. Tanti avevano creduto in questa ideologia , in questa prima grande rivoluzione socialista , ma sappiamo tutte le rivoluzioni hanno il destino di essere tradite e alla fine gettano nello smarrimento , nella paura, nella lontananza da se stessi tutti gli uomini che ci avevano creduto. … Da questo presupposto è nato il ciclo Andare dove ? … poi si è dilatato e non riguardava più l’implosione, la caduta del Comunismo come nei primi dipinti ( L’uomo con le valigie, Addio alla casa rossa)ma il destino dell’uomo, e sono venuti questi quadri verdi con degli uomini nel paesaggio o che guardano da una terrazza o che sembrano persi nel contemplare, tutti intitolati Andare dove? Quasi che l’uomo si trovi in una situazione critica, di passaggio e cerchi la sua identità all’interno di un labirinto che in questi quadri è rappresentato dalla natura.’
in A.C. Quintavalle, Sughi, Catalogo della mostra al Complesso del Vittoriano, Roma, Skira editore, Milano 2007, pag. 190.

“Al centro della tela in piedi la figura di Dante ferma, quasi restia alla mano tesa, appena accennata di Virgilio , che gli si offre d’innanzi, a ragione della forte dominante nel canto I dell’Inferno del tema dello smarrimento, del dubbio e della paura si inserisce perfettamente,senza forzatura alcuna , nella discorso pittorico che Sughi allora stava svolgendo.” [. . .]    –Alberto Sughi, Arte32.

Theo Wujcik’s “Gates of Hell” (1987)

“One of Tampa Bay’s best-known artists, Theo Wujcik (1936-2014), spent a decade creating a series drawn from the dark and profound literary classic, Dante’s Inferno. Now, those extraordinary paintings are the theme for Theo Wujcik: Cantos, a special exhibition organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg. This exhibition celebrates the work of Theo Wujcik (1936–2014), with a focus on the literary references in his work. A fixture of the Ybor City art scene, Wujcik was an accomplished master printer and painter whose expansive practice engaged deeply with art historical tradition and the global contemporary art world.

“This exhibition will premiere the Museum’s newest accession of Wujcik’s work, the diptych Gates of Hell (1987), which complements Canto II (1997), also in the collection. Both of these paintings are based on Italian poet Dante Alighieri’s (1265–1321) Inferno, the first part of the epic poem Divine Comedy. Also featured will be selections from the artist’s personal notebooks, collage studies, and a number of select loans.”  —Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg, 2019

Learn more about Theo Wujcik’s exhibition here.

“Dante (Quinto Canto),” Painting by Mihail Ivanov

“This is the fifth song in the Divine Comedy, where Dante Alighieri ventures through the circles of hell, a lonely soul separates itself from the others and presents herself to the author, telling him her sad life story.”   —SAATCHI ART

Jacek Lipowczan, “Dante Cycle”

dantes-way-to-inferno-jacek-lipowczan-2008

Dante’s Way to Inferno

“Jacek Lipowczan signs his paintings as ‘JALI’. Jacek Lipowczan born in September 1951 in South Poland, studied on the Academy of  Fine Arts in Cracow and graduated in 1976 obtaining his Master of Art Degree in the Grafic Design in the atelier of Professor M. Wejman. His experience as junior scene designer in the team of Polish film Director Kazimierz Kutz introduced him to the works and projects of Andrzej Majewski. The fairy tale imaginative works of this Artist strongly influenced  Jacek Lipowczan’s future creativity and his artistic imagination.” [. . .]    –Jacek Lipowczan, Jacek Lipowczan Magical Dreams, 2018

The paintings from JaLi’s “Dante Cycle,” like the two images featured here, can be viewed in the virtual gallery on his website (2008 and 2009).

jacek-lipocsan-dante-cycle-3009

Passing Through—Dante Cycle

“Columbia Art League Exhibit Honors Dante With Visions of the Afterlife”

columbia-art-league-dante-visions-of-afterlife-2021“CAL’s current exhibit, The Divine Comedy, is grounded in Dante Alighieri’s medieval masterwork, a revealing, often harrowing pilgrimage through the stations of the afterlife. CAL artists responded to Dante’s themes, and everlasting concepts of life beyond our own, in personal and particular ways.

“Heaven, hell and purgatory are represented within these images, and relatively well-balanced, CAL education and outreach director Karen Shortt-Stout said. Given the existential troubles of 2020 and early 2021, she thought artists might bend in greater number toward the visual language of fire and brimstone.

Franz von Bayros’ Illustration of Inferno 14

XOT361807 Illustration from Dante’s ‘Divine Comedy’, Inferno, Canto XIV. 28, 1921 (w/c on paper) by Bayros, Franz von (Choisy Le Conin) (1866-1924); Private Collection; German, out of copyright

Selections from Graba”s 2003 Divina Commedia

Selection from Divina Commedia – Inferno by Graba’

Selection from Divina Commedia – Purgatorio by Graba’

Selection from Divina Commedia – Paradiso by Graba’

View Graba”s full gallery here.

Tom Phillips’ Illustrated Inferno (1983)

In 1983, English artist Tom Phillips translated and illustrated his own version of Dante’s Inferno.

Phillips intended that his illustrations should give a visual commentary to Dante’s texts. As he writes in his notebook, ‘The range of imagery matches Dante in breath encompassing everything from Greek mythology to the Berlin Wall, from scriptural reference to a scene in an abattoir, and from alchemical signs to lavatory graffiti.’ And the range of modes of expression is similarly wide, including as it does, early calligraphy, collage, golden section drawings, maps, dragons, doctored photographs, references to other past artworks and specially programmed computer generated graphics.

“‘I have tried in this present version of Dante’s Inferno which I have translated and illustrated to make the book a container for the energy usually expended on large scale paintings… The artist thus tries to reveal the artist in the poet and the poet helps to uncover/release the poet in the artist.’”   —Notes on Dante’s Inferno, Tom Phillips’ website

Phillips also co-directed A TV Dante with Peter Greenaway in 1986.

Read more about Tom Phillips here.

 

Rauschenberg’s Dante in the Time of Pandemic

robert-rauschenberg-modern-inferno

“Dante’s three-part epic poem portrays the journey souls take after death. Essentially a socio-economic commentary on Florentine life, with strong moral undertones and focus on the human condition, its themes can be adapted to any time. Today, in the face of Covid-19, the 700-year-old Commedia resonates strongly. Now is a perfect time to reflect on the work through its visual depictions. Although countless artists have illustrated the work since its medieval publication – Sandro Botticelli, Gustave Doré, and John Flaxman, to name a few – modern artists have shown how its relevance lives on to this day. Perhaps the most progressive modern rendering of Dante’s epic to date is seen through the work of artist Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008).

“Dante is ambiguous in his writing on the Sodomites, reflecting the reticence surrounding the subject of homosexuality in his day. Rauschenberg mirrors this ambiguity in his illustration with an empty speech bubble beneath a red outline of his own traced foot. The tracing inserts Rauschenberg into the narrative just as Dante the Poet occasionally appears in the text, separate from Dante the Pilgrim, a personal touch that is seldom seen in Commedia illustrations.” [. . .]    —Flora Igoe, The Art Story Blog, 2020

See Rauschenberg’s full Inferno series here.

 

Illustration by Denis Forkas (2015)

“Study for Hypocrites (illustration for Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri/Inferno, Canto 23), after Francisco Goya after John Flaxman,” 2015

“We found, down there, a people painted bright.
Their tread, as round they went, was very slow,
weeping, worn down and seemingly defeated.”[. . .]   —
Study for Hypocrites, denisforkas.com, 2015

(trans. R. Kirkpatrick)