I've been involved with the Italian expressionism about twenty years ago for a memorable exhibition arranged in Turin together with Renato Bari and Alessandra Borgogelli.
The exhibition was about a theory, that had to be proved, that whether or not the fringe of artists with expressionist ideas of the human figure and the world evolution were hidden in Italy as they were in France and in Germany, and because of this they tended to alienate from the spiritual and decorative features of the symbolism painting, so popular at the beginning of 1900s.
Regarding that Renato Barilli said: This exhibition's aim is to bring out a sort of sunken continent from which spread cores, isolated peak and interrupted plateau survive like in the geographical reality from which the metaphor is taken from. Nobody thinks of a possible connection, because the idea of a common history didn't cross its minds; or perhaps has never been there, even then and in the heat of the moment, when those formations were born indeed. We must in fact admit that at that time (first and second decade of the xx century) any organized group identified itself with the expressionist movement or with its ideas. Nothing similar, in our country, to the “strong clot”that happened in France and more precisely in Paris, around the Fauvisme or in Germany around the Die Brucke.
This introduction seemed to be a closure toward a possible approach of the Italian art to the expressionist movement.
But that very exhibition developed and proposed the possibility that different artists with no evident connection had ideas similar to those of the artist beyond the Alps.
From that exhibition emerged in fact, some artists that without a doubt were animated by expressionist ideas, sometime unconscious. For example, we may think of Lorenzo Viani, Arturo Martini, Gino Rossi the “Breton”, Ottone Rosai or two pillars of 1900s painting such as...