Salvo in the 80s: Light and FormLondon
Leonforte 1947–2015 Turin
Oil on canvas
40 x 30 cm (15 3/4 x 11 3/4 in.)
ProvenancePrivate Collection, Milan.
LiteratureMatteo Galbiati, ed., Salvo: un'arte senza compromessi, exh. cat. Dep Art, arte moderna e contemporanea, Milan, 2017, p. 165, ill.
ExhibitionsMilan, Dep Art, arte moderna e contemporanea, Salvo: un'arte senza compromessi, 18 October-23 December 2017
Salvo visits the hilly Italian countryside in summertime in this charming townscape. The view begins at the top of a narrow lane, flanked at left by a red-roofed yellow building and at right by the brownish wall of a garden. A stone pine typical of the Italian landscape curves upward out of the enclosure, its distinctive green canopy crowning the composition. Beyond the garden, a succession of steeply angled buildings suggest a precipitous drop in elevation as the road curves downwards. Save the foliage and the garden wall, nearly all is rendered in vibrantly cheerful yellows and reds, as if each building in this quaint town or village has changed colour to embody and celebrate the sun shining upon it. The present painting, with its smooth forms, flat planes of bold colour, and simplicity of subject matter, appears like a childhood recollection of a sunny summer day in a favourite location. Such insistent naivety is a hallmark of Salvo’s work, which can seek to transcend time and transport both artist and viewer to a place and mood where one could enjoy an unfettered sense of pure pleasure, easy happiness. Wonder and memory have become a place.