VITO CAMPANELLA (ARGENTINIAN 1932-2014)
Il Concertino Rinascentista, 1972
oil on canvas
70.5 x 120 cm (27 3/4 x 47 1/4 in.)
signed lower right; signed, dated and titled on verso
Vito Campanella was an Italian-Argentine Surrealist painter, influential globally. Like many earlier Surrealist painters, Campanella was deeply influenced by the war in his native Monopoli. In the aftermath of World War II, ordinary life in southern Italy was dramatically altered. Campanella started painting at a young age and earned many awards throughout his career, including the Golden Palm Award from the International Exhibition in Monte Carlo and a Contemporary Art Award in Lyon. He met Salvador Dali when he was in Rome - the latter exerted great influence on the young painter. Campanella also studied anatomy, and the interest in human body is obvious in his oeuvre.
Campanella’s paintings not only defy normal spatial and temporal logic but also challenge the viewer’s perception of touch and texture. In the painting, humans are objectified into instruments themselves, yet they retain a trace of humanity through their soft hands and clothes. Il Concertino Rinascentista also invokes the motifs of Renaissance paintings, especially with the landscape in the background that resembles Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, the Ionic columns behind the figures, and the instruments the figures are playing.