The works of Mario Sironi talk of the long journey that led up to Italy’s unification and independence. They include the tragedy of war but also the enthusiasm of a population of young men fighting in the front line, bound by their common desire to unify a nascent country. Sironi shuns icons, never allowing himself to indulge in triumphal celebrations or obsolete portrayals of fighting and imperialism. In both his paintings and drawings the echo of a continuous dialogue between the artist and the masters of the past – the outcome of an in depth study of classical art and the dynamics of Hellenic sculpture – emerges in the aesthetics and subjects dealt with: Victory to name but one, interpreted with subtle originality and which sees the subject transformed into a dynamic meeting point between the past and the avant-garde.
Sironi’s Victory thus acquires a perspective that is unlike its contemporaries but also dissimilar to the classical works by which it is inspired. It takes on an innovative appearance that reaches its maximum expression in the large Winged Victory. Sironi’s sensibility and genius create an articulated figure, far removed from harmony and precision and emblematic of their opposites. Edited by Elena Pontiggia, with pieces by Ilaria Borletti Buitoni, Andrea Sironi-Straußwald and Lodovico Isolabella, the book offers a comprehensive analysis of the works of Mario Sironi in the Isolabella and Gian Ferrari collections, here united for an exhibition organized by the FAI at Villa Necchi Campiglio, Milan.