The exhibition on Guttuso arrives in Varese

The exhibition will be inaugurated Saturday 18th May at the Civic Museums of Villa Mirabello and it is how the city of Varese will celebrate Renato Guttoso

renato guttuso passeggiata velate

The exhibition will be inaugurated Saturday 18th May at the Civic Museums of Villa Mirabello and it is how the city of Varese will celebrate Renato Guttoso.

On display, the 21 works that are the subject of the deal that the municipal administration has stipulated with the Pellin Foundation, established in Varese in 1999 on the request of Francesco Pellin and his family for the study and enhancement of the work of Renato Guttuso, with which the collector had a long and deep friendship.

Together with these works, there will be the portraits of the protagonists Francesco Pellin, Adriana Pellin and the self-portrait of Renato Guttuso. The exhibition, curated by Serena Contini, underlines the friendship and collaboration between Guttuso and Pellin: the event takes place in the year of the tenth anniversary of the collector’s death.

“The Renato Guttuso exhibition in Varese is a dream come true,” declares the mayor of

Varese, Davide Galimberti. “The municipal administration has placed the theme of culture at the centre of the project of social and economic revitalisation of the city and, thanks to the Pellin Foundation, we are now ready to inaugurate a new, exciting, season of great events that will project Varese to the national spotlight. This exhibition, and the entire cultural operation, which foresees the organisation of other exhibitions, events and focus, in the upcoming months, to promote the collection, also with exchanges between museums, has the aspiration to attract the attention of the public and of the critics, becoming an expression of the tourist and cultural vocation that the city of Varese has rediscovered thanks to the commitment of this Administration and to the important initiatives we are carrying out, including the Nature Urbane Festival.”

“Renato Guttuso was one of the most interesting artists and intellectuals of the Italian twentieth century,” explains Roberto Cecchi, Councillor for Culture and Tourism. “The artist established a privileged relationship with Varese: he lived there for thirty years, starting in 1953, in the Velate studio, at Villa Dotti, of his wife. Velate and Villa Dotti were a source of inspiration and creation of works of great value such as “La Vucciria”, which tells the city of Palermo, but was painted in the garden city. The Varese experience was intense for Guttuso who also had to say “Painting is very exciting, but painting happily, as happens to me here in Varese is a wonderful thing. It is a city that has helped me both in personal relationships and through an always loved knowledge of its landscape and its sights.” Little has been left of this stimulating presence and this intellectual season in the garden city, but thanks to the renewed attention of the municipal administration, after years of continuing to reflect on the importance of the Varese-Guttuso link, the ambitious cultural project that will allow the vision of works by the master of Bagheria at the Civic Museums of Villa Mirabello.”


To highlight the friendly relationship between Guttuso and Pellin, the portrait of the collector, his wife Adriana and the self-portrait of the master L’Atelier() will be exhibited. In addition, the drawing Paesaggio d’Ischia from 1974 dedicated by the painter to Pellin’s firstborn. Camera sull’Adriatico, Chiaro di luna, Gineceo 1 and Gineceo 2, Figura in piedi are the titles of some exhibited paintings that will allow us to grasp the essence of the artist who knew how to represent feminine sensuality.

Another painting with a strong impact is part of the numerous tributes, made by Guttuso, to the masters who had preceded and inspired him: this is Van Gogh porta l’orecchio al bordello di Arles of 1978.

The social and political sensibility of Guttuso will be underlined by the canvas Il sonno della ragione genera i mostri, created following the Bologna massacre of 2nd August 1980, while his passion for sport will be highlighted by Il calciatore. Football, besides boxing, was a passion of Renato Guttuso.

Ten preparatory studies, also through written explanations, will lead to a greater understanding of the large canvas placed in the exhibition, one of the fundamental creations to capture the artist’s poetry, Spes contra spem, dating back to 1982, which represents the absolute value of memory for Guttuso and his spiritual heritage. With this work that will be positioned

in the Octagonal Hall the exhibition will conclude.

There will also be a suggestion that recalls the thirty-year presence of the artist in Varese, in his home in Velate, where the mutual affection between Guttuso and Varese was born and was realised in the homage of the city to the painter with the conferment of honorary citizenship in 1983.

The exhibition will be accompanied by documents, photographs, explanatory panels and quotations taken from statements by the artist to allow the visitor to immerse themselves in the world of the painter and will remain open until the Christmas holidays.

Pubblicato il 16 aprile 2019
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