Salvo in the 80s: Light and FormLondon
Leonforte 1947–2015 Turin
Signed and dated, on the reverse: "Salvo 83"
Oil on board
40 x 31.5 cm (15 3/4 x 12 3/8 in.)
A supreme stillness permeates this urban vista by Salvo. A street cuts diagonally through the composition, lined on either side with the geometric forms the artist favored when depicting architecture. Each is rendered in nuanced shades of pink, orange, and yellow, and casts greenish shadows onto the ochre street, against a cleanly blue sky. Although Salvo would not visit the Middle East and Africa for another decade, something in the sun-saturated colour palette and the clarified simplicity of the structures anticipates the desert cities he would visit there. At the same time, the vibrant hues and the feeling of a town constructed out of building blocks are reminiscent of the Italian cityscapes found in the frescoes and predella panels of the early Renaissance. Just as one could indeed be anywhere, time moreover has stopped, the wind does not blow, the sun does not move. A mediation on colour and form, this panel stills the mind and fixes the viewer in the present, in a state that seems to resist and rebut all external references, and holds us in the calm of the now.