The article deals with the critical reception of Italian artist Renato Guttuso in Socialist Europe from the late Forties up to the early Sixties. A Communist activist and an outstanding personality of cultural diplomacy in post-war Europe, Guttuso enjoyed a wide exposure in Central and Eastern Europe, where his artwork circulated both within itinerant exhibitions and as reproductions in the press. A further reason for his popularity was provided by his activity as an art critic and author of pamphlets against the hegemony of abstract art in the West. In the Fifties, Guttuso’s paintings were presented as the work of a “Western realist”, thus playing a crucial role in the art debates of each host nations, but also ending up adapted to the State promoted cultural policies. In Central-eastern Europe, and more specifically in Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary, the artist was greeted as an alternative to Soviet socialist realism, while in the German Democratic Republic as a master of anti-fascism, thus providing common ground for a shared critical discourse on interwar regimes, both in Italy and in Germany. Only starting from the late Fifties, Guttuso gained popularity in the Soviet Union as a neo-realist painter, thus echoing Italian popular cinema, which provided the critical framework for the reception and the popularization of his art. His first solo exhibition in the Soviet Union was planned and promoted in 1961 as a key event in the new cultural agenda between Italy and the USSR, paving the way for his popularity in the homeland of real existing socialism

Un alfiere del (neo)realismo sociale dell’Occidente: Renato Guttuso nell’Europa socialista (1948-1962)

Matteo Bertelé
2019

Abstract

The article deals with the critical reception of Italian artist Renato Guttuso in Socialist Europe from the late Forties up to the early Sixties. A Communist activist and an outstanding personality of cultural diplomacy in post-war Europe, Guttuso enjoyed a wide exposure in Central and Eastern Europe, where his artwork circulated both within itinerant exhibitions and as reproductions in the press. A further reason for his popularity was provided by his activity as an art critic and author of pamphlets against the hegemony of abstract art in the West. In the Fifties, Guttuso’s paintings were presented as the work of a “Western realist”, thus playing a crucial role in the art debates of each host nations, but also ending up adapted to the State promoted cultural policies. In Central-eastern Europe, and more specifically in Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary, the artist was greeted as an alternative to Soviet socialist realism, while in the German Democratic Republic as a master of anti-fascism, thus providing common ground for a shared critical discourse on interwar regimes, both in Italy and in Germany. Only starting from the late Fifties, Guttuso gained popularity in the Soviet Union as a neo-realist painter, thus echoing Italian popular cinema, which provided the critical framework for the reception and the popularization of his art. His first solo exhibition in the Soviet Union was planned and promoted in 1961 as a key event in the new cultural agenda between Italy and the USSR, paving the way for his popularity in the homeland of real existing socialism
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10278/3711917
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