Artwork of the Month - November 2023

Osvaldo Peruzzi
(Milano 1907 - Livorno 2004)
Aeropittura n. 5, 1934
Oil on paperboard, 64.7 x 80.3 cm
Inv. AM 1291

Osvaldo Peruzzi (Milano 1907 – Livorno 2004) Aeropittura n. 5, 1934

Aeropittura n. 5 or the l'uomo aereo, an artwork realised by Osvaldo Peruzzi in 1934, represents an aviator and his aircraft, portrayed through Futurist synthesis and decomposition of planes and volumes. The pure and bright colours, typical of Peruzzi's personal pictorial declination, distinguish the figure of the pilot (in the foreground on the left with a brown helmet and goggles) from the blue of the sky and the grey and metallic tones of the decomposed outline of the aircraft in motion.

The simultaneous and multiple viewpoints in the representation is also in keeping with the dynamic beauty and the aesthetics of the Futurist movement. In fact, the painting is shortly after the Manifesto dell'Aeropittura, published by Tommaso Marinetti in 1929.

Aeropittura n. 5 is one of the highest and happiest expressions of the research undertaken by Peruzzi between the 1930s and 1940s, in which aeropainting was very much present in his imagination and production. The painting differs, however, from other aeropaintings of a more lyrical-landscape tone, as here the presence of the landscape is only recalled by the dark green and brown insert that is wedged into the lower part of the composition.

The artwork has been displayed at important exhibitions, including the Biennale in Venice in 1938 and the Quadriennale in 1939, when it was purchased by the Governatorato di Roma and became part of the contemporary art collections of the Sovrintendenza Capitolina. More recently, it has been exhibited in various shows, including the major exhibition Italian Futurism. 1909-1944: reconstructing the Universe, held at the Guggenheim Museum in New York in 2014.


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