Nature is reality in Ettore Fico’s painting

Nature is reality in Ettore Fico’s painting

Maurizio Nobile Fine Art presents, until 15 June 2024, “Paradisi ritrovati”, the solo exhibition by the artist Ettore Fico (Piatto Biellese, 1917 – Turin, 2004), curated by Andrea Busto. There are several works created in different periods of the artist’s life, which shows the presence of a common thread: nature, the undisputed protagonist. It is reworked and internalized through the eyes of Fico, who uses multiple pictorial expressions, the result of a continuous osmosis with the Avant-gardes and with some of the artistic movements present during the twentieth century.

Ettore Fico, “Sentiero”, oil on cardboard, cm 39 x 53, 1955, courtesy: Museo Ettore Fico
photo Credit: Tommaso Mattina

The perception of reality is filtered through the flowers, the vegetation, which take on more than one meaning linked to the phenomenological element: they go beyond, they become a vibrant expression of the artist’s soul who expresses its essence through the variations of the backgrounds and of the pictorial line. The experimentation in the use of different shades of green gives the works depth and brightness, in the wake of Cézanne. As it is reported in the press release of the exhibition: «His works are fascinated by renewal in the figurative field and pasty works, made of almost monochrome backgrounds, begin to take shape in his atelier (Paesaggio nel bosco, 1956). Poised between formal aesthetics and avant-garde, without ever giving up the idea of ​​recognisability, they transport his world into a playful and joyful minimalism, trees like hair and earthy paths like creeping lava suddenly appear in the works and tiny apparitions lodge here and there on the canvases». The compositions are balanced, but at the same time intense, full of emotional transposition, depending on the point of view of the artist, who rediscovers the centrality of the natural element, in a completely anthropocentric key, reviving a new “Renaissance”.

Ettore Fico, “Fiori Peruviani”, 1980, oil on cardboard, 64 x 50 cm, courtesy: Museo Ettore Fico, photo Credit: Tommaso Mattina

Fiori Peruviani (1980) is one of the emblematic works of a new artistic period by Fico, in which interiors, space and nature find harmony in intense colours, inspired by Matisse, with features that recall the Impressionists. The presence of multiple varieties of flowers confirms, once again, the artist’s attention towards nature, flora, vegetation, whose constant presence both outside and inside a closed environment remains fundamental, such as the domestic one. Even though the human figure is not present in many Fico’s works, the vibration that emerges from the backgrounds is pulsating and the underlying presence of an attentive and sensitive gaze is felt, reassured by family affections and by a natural environment that is a source of continuous inspiration. The works present along the exhibition itinerary allow the viewer to experience the perceptive evolution of the artist, who manages to describe the landscape and its specific elements with an abundance of details, deriving from an analysis of reality which, starting from the particular in The perspective of the Flemish painters reaches the essence, the transcendent.

Ettore Fico, “Glicine”, 2003, tempera on paper, 68,5 x 98,5 cm, courtesy: Museo Ettore Fico
photo Credit: Tommaso Mattina

This is evident, for example in Glicine (2003), where the floral element is rendered in a detailed manner, albeit in a thick and homogeneous whole, which, falling from above, thins out towards the bottom, allowing a glimpse of the background and the perspective of the portrait environment. The title of the exhibition emphasizes, in a completely appropriate way, the essence of the exhibition itinerary, creating a strong connection between the selected works and the concept contained in this expression. Looking at the works, in fact, the sensation is precisely that of being in a magnificent flower garden, rich in different floral species, from which you can draw completely and completely, just like in some Rediscovered Paradises.


Ettore Fico. Paradisi Ritrovati
curated by Andrea Busto
11/05/– 15/06/2024
Maurizio Nobile Fine Art
Via Santo Stefano 19/A, Bologna


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