Gustavo Foppiani, Italian (1925 - 1986)


Foppiani is probably the most important artist belonging to the so called "Piacenza School".

Aesthetically speaking, he prefers a crepuscular lyricism and he uses ashen and warn tones for the passing of years on the board, that he subjects to some expert processes of getting old.
It is during the years of surrealistic and abstract landscapes, that he devotes himself to the visual research about the composition.

Now, it is already present the fascination for the "symbol" that continues also during the following phases, when the author concentrates mostly about contents, especially reflecting upon the enigma and the anxiety, creating lively sensations of mystery.
Afterwards, this symbolic-existential component is developed by Foppiani on the scope of the human figure and scenery; so, this is a narrative scenery, animated by the presence of a man, who is like a "homini lupus".
The aggression theme is prevalent, so much that, making a long jump in the time and in the space, we remember the Sartre's causticity.
In fact, in spite of the calculated "naiveté" of the formal description, of the gratification for the amazement, and of a certain sweet sentimentalism, picks the harshness of the problematic and dangerous situations of the dark atmosphere and of the anatomic deformation.

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One of the fundamental themes of Foppiani's works of art is the precariousness, that peeps out in the form of uncertainty. Sometimes this reality is mitigated by the sweetness of love, that sometimes is put on a dramatic relevance, and the author lingers over the instant that compromises the quiet and that preludes the catastrophe.

Thinking about the dramatic victim's experience, Foppiani discusses also the aggression, lingering over the obsession for the guilty, for the accusation, and for the punishment inflicted by the persecutor. These feelings involve psychologically the protagonist with a such a strength that he is put in a big anguish. Or the aggression acts physically, in an ambiguous and anxious play of disability, or it raises real sentences of death.

But after the tragic moments, the ironic separation phase cannot be absent: this phase is lived with strabilliant energy and presence of mind. It can configure itself as social irony, for example he focuses the empty stylistic feature of the aristocratic portrait, but the ironic distance becomes cynic when it leaves a specific contest in order to become universal....and skeletons in the cupboard appear .

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When Foppiani arrives to a global reflection about the existence, suggested for instance by the symbol of book, he expresses himself with calmness, committing to the solemnity of the theme, the gravity of his conclusions. Foppiani seems to incarnating in his figures, that interrogate the moon with anxious and penetrating glance but that don't receive any answer, because the moon is a dumb witness (and "ll cantico notturno di un pastore errante dell'Asia" of Leopardi comes to our mind).

Gustavo Foppiani was born the 12th july of 1925 in Piacenza and died the 5th August of 1986 in Udine.

Principal Exhibitions

Pittsburgh, Internatíonal Carnegíe Institute,
1955, 1958, 1964, 1967.
Roma, Quadriennale d'Arte, 1955, 1959


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1957 Roma, galleria l'Obelisco.
1959 Roma, Galleria l'Obelisco - New York, galleria World House - New York, gal-
leria Wíldenstein.
1961 Spoleto - Teatro Cajo Melisso - Roma, galleria l'Obelisco.
1962 Napoli, galleria Chiurazzi.
1964 Roma, galleria l'Obelisco - New York, gallería Knoedler.
1965 Roma, Galleria l'Obelisco - Chícago, galleria Hemon Kouler - Parigi, galleria Paul Facchetti.
1968 Roma, Teatro Olimpico - Stoccolma, Istituto di Cultura Italiano F.C. Lerici.
1969 Milano, galleria Gian Ferrari Malmoe, Istituto di Cultura Italiano.
1970 Mantova, galleria Mantegna - La Spezia, galleria Il Gabbíano - Padova, galleria Antenore - Milano, galleria Gian Ferrarí - Bologna, galleria Forni - Desenzano, galleria Antiquario del Garda.
1971 Alessandria, galleria D/4 - Perugia, galleria Etruria - Torino, galleria Davico - Piacenza, galleria Il Gotico - Bologna, galleria Forni - Milano, galleria Gian Ferrari - Savona, galleria La Fontana.
1972 Parma, galleria della Rocchetta - Busto Arsizío, galleria La Bambaia - Napoli, galleria Díagramma 32.
1973 Biella, galleria Il Tritone - Genova, galleria Il Salotto - Reggio Emilia, galleria   La Scaletta. Bologna, galleria Forni
1974 Torino, galleria La Cittadella.
1975 Cremona, galleria Le Mura 2 - Napoli, galleria Il Diagramrna 32 - Roma, galleria La Nuova Pesa Trieste, galleria Forum - Torino, galleria La Quercia.
1976 Ancona, galleria il Falconiere - Torino, galleria La Cittadella.
1977 Parigi, galleria I'Oeui de Beaubourg -Bologna, galleria Forni - Parigi, galleria Bellint - Torino, galleria Davico.
1977 Arnsterdam, galleria Forni.
1978 Amsterdam, galleria Harmen.
1979 Bologna, galleria Forni - Bruxelles, galleria Philippe Guimiot - Piacenza, galleria Il Gotico.
1981 Basilea, Art 12 181 (galleria Philippe Guimiot).
1983 Milano, studio Steffanoni - Magenta, studio Steffanoni.
1984 Genova, galleria Il Nuovo Fanale - Bologna, galleria Forni.
1985 Bruxelles, galleria Philippe Guimiot - Roma, galleria Il Narciso - Brescia, galleria Schreiber - Brindisi, galleria Il Tempietto.
1986 Milano, studio Steffanoni - Bologna, galleria Forni - Mesola, Castello Estense (collettiva).
1987 Mesola, Castello Estense (collettiva).
1988 Ferrara, galleria Civica d'Arte Moderna - Ischia, Castello Aragonese, Piacenza, studio Denise Fiorani - Milano, Spazio Immagine.
1989 Bologna, galleria Forni - Milano, Spazio Immagine - Piacenza, galleria Braga.
1991 Brindisi, galleria Il Tempietto.
1992 Milano, galleria Gian Ferrari - Piacenza, galleria Braga - Saronno, galleria Il Chiostro.

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