One step before the centenary of the birth of Aligi Sassu, and only one year after the tenth anniversary of his death, a thousand thoughts come to mind, on Sassu as an artist, on Sassu as a man, on how his art is perceived and spread today.
It is in time for assessments then, and I believe that Mediterraneo is a good way to represent Sassu, a place that is geographic and of Sardinia, the dear Mallorca, the essential Albisola. And it encloses those landscapes and myths that distiguish the Maestro. It is in the very waters of the Mediterranean that the Maestro rests, on his precise request, indication of a bond that goes beyond life, of a depth to which Sassu did not only give life through his works, but that he lived himself in his every existence.
An antholigical display is the the diary of a life, in which every period, every theme, is not to be considered merely on the artistic side, but as an expression of a precise biographical moment .
..And that is how the Thirties, with Uomini rossi and the Parisian Caffès will be the symbol of a youthful ardour, a passion for painting despite the far from advantageous conditions that the young Sassu had to face.
They were times of great sacrifices, of economic restraint, when the artistic, profession ought to be a real passion, almost a vocation, trough which expressing every youthful idea and utopia of a new, just, different world. And this is what Uomini rossi are. May them be cyclists, argonauts, dice players or any other character, the concept behind them is always that a man who is born nude in front of the creation, and like this he faces society with a red that means life and will become death.
Red is a congenial colour to Sassu, not only an aesthetic choice, but almost an instinctive one. Sassu used to say that he saw red in every colour, and this is the reason why he does not abandon such predilection after the cycle of Uomini rossi, but we continuously find it in his artistic path.
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