Le Fantasie di Mario Mafai


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Curators: Giulia Mafai and Marina Gargiulo

Publisher: Marsilio Arte

Year: 2021

Binding: Paperback

Pages: 128

Text: Italian

Mario Mafai realizes the Fantasies between 1939 and 1943, in years of racial persecution, paints violent and hallucinatory images, denouncing the brutality of war and the loss of all human dignity. With bright and material brushstrokes, red-ocher figures in contrast with black-blue nocturnal ones, Mafai creates tragic, visionary sequences, but also full of ironic and grotesque references. What were the inspirations for these works? Some sources are clear: the souls tortured in Dante's hell, the torments depicted by Hieronymus Bosch, whom Mafai would have known through the engravings, the Disasters of Goya's war. In 2018, twenty-three examples of this fundamental experience of the artist's career were donated to the Pinacoteca di Brera and this volume contains the photographic documentation in color, in addition to the Fantasies kept in other public and private collections, thus offering the reader a complete overview of the series which includes a total of twenty-seven canvases and tables. The essays by James Bradburne, Demetrio Paparoni, by the two curators Giulia Mafai and Marina Gargiulo and the documentary appendix - with a text by Giuseppe Appella and the Einaudi-Mafai-Pirelli correspondence already published in 1989, and a second text by Giulia Mafai dedicated to his father's diaries illustrated with photographs kindly granted by the Paolo Di Paolo archive -, they capture us and lead us through the folds of a story full of charm, narrated with the same intensity as the works of this great unforgotten artist.

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Le Fantasie di Mario Mafai