MAURO CORRADINI - Introduction to a catalogue for De Lucia’s exhibit at the Ferrari Gallery in Suzzara – March 7, 1970.
De Lucia did not reach sculpture by chance or very quickly. He in fact reached it after a long internal suffering and a phase of inactivity (a “growth” crisis, if the term did not have an excessive political meaning) and his biography is the proof. The reasons for this suffering and crisis are multiple. It seems mainly a signal of the artistic climate in which young people found themselves during the first post-war period when showing themselves to the world of art. They were "conditioned" by the exuberance of post-war neorealism (during the fifties), which was often more polemic than artistic. Abstractionism was the opposite of this movement. These very opposite trends were rich with fascination and attraction. Many "were broken off" from within and went into crisis: among these were De Lucia, many found themselves in this contract which was an opportunity to search for new stimuli and make personal conquests.
De Lucia found himself intimately dissenting, as did many young artists exiting the schools: dissent between an official, richly academic culture often of trinoline, and a lively culture of the daily human world. This contrast between truth and rhetoric, or better between culture and rhetoric, invested more or less all Artists, or simply all those having or wanting to say something. De Lucia awaited (waiting for maturity; passive expression is not impossible, but the study and search for himself) for many years this was impossible through academic studies, given only by the contrast between an expressive tool that possessed inheritances and new ones urging for a new language to better communicate no longer had a meaning.
Because this problem afflicted many in the art world: was it possible to “break away” from the bourgeois writings conditioning the way of communicating through a new expressive form or better yet was it possible to create a new “non bourgeois” expressive form. I believe De Lucia solved the problem using the latter; there was no language to institutionalize. He acted, and still acts, the same way by working between realty and rhetoric. Language is not the only institutionalized data but as always in art it was the way to solve or condition. By trying to recuperate human reality he avoided to crystallize in non-significant formulas so not to loosing himself in experimentation.
This is the most logical operation.
For this reason De Lucia admires fifteenth century art, the first manifestation of modern art inside institutionalized contents of medieval art. The contrast between dedication/indifference (opposites often united when human commitment is not realized on canvas or bronze; or when the painting commitment was broken from world looking for a oniric or inexistent paradise; or when it confuses human commitment with artistic modernity therefore falling into a sociological cartoon), De Lucia establishes man and his “conscious commitment” as a stronghold.
I wish to also highlight: De Lucia’s literary culture: a culture which is a stimulus and confrontation not only as an illustration or nostalgia towards a conscience expression, but looking for a man and Artist; for this reason his titles are often from the classic Greek and Latin: maybe as a sign of the universal message of the modern artist.
Several sculptures and graphic work are here represented.
The "fetish" of our times to exacerbate and deglamourize the plastic value of the work of art: sex, divinity of our civilization in its essence and non poetic. It does not come from the depth of his artistic works but the desire to recuperate humanity.
The same is for the great bronze work of art "Demon-Archia": Here the literary aspect becomes representative of an inarticulate dimension of daily brutality; the “myth” of our time (war as a “‘necessary "evil ", for example or famine as an incurable evil for geographic needs, …) is made to see death, rapacity, willingness, violence (these ribs look like claws, or the black and blue hair that looks like a helmet… while the sculpture is repeated in steel creating a continuous reflecting image).
Also his etchings, where the “plastic” value of the sculptor is legible, the same deglamourizing operation. Here I wish to highlight the graphic (where you can see the intimate relationship with Guerreschi) weaved in a “modern “liberty” style; we can easily see the acute criticism towards an “out of” regular, normal, permeated by respectability, and an “inside” distorted and deepened in the evils which affect us: it is again sex, divinity, advertising being represented or deteriorating stimuli combating at level of consumption making us buy guns or pistols for our children. Therefore the word of peace becomes useless and solely an opportunity for a “dialogue”, interminable pomposity without fruit, cut at the roots by egoism which we are more less continuously part of.
GUIDO STELLA - Viaggio tra gli artisti bresciani: Giuseppe De Lucia - La Voce del popolo - Brescia, 30 March 1973.
Giuseppe De Lucia has been in Brescia from 1959, but is not well know as an artist as much as his peers. He had few exhibits and his participation in the cultural life of the city was attentive but discrete. At the beginning he had an important exhibit in Paris (the artist lived his youth in France and in a way it is his second homeland) (ten years in France not twenty: Editor’s Note), however he did not boast it.
His resume is among the most complete and coherent. The Academy in Brera under the direction of Aldo Carpi alongside mostly famous artists: Vespignani, Guerreschi (author’s lapsus: a friend was Romagnoni and not Vespignani. Editor’s Note) From painting De Lucia progressively went towards sculpture which was contemporary to his teaching Art Education in a city school. This was his main occupation which he performed methodically and professionally: However if painting as on a second level, De Lucia cultivated his passion. It was like a virus which infected many artists during those years. Graphic design was like a secret diary for De Lucia, where the most sensitive and faded aspects of the man and artist were expressed in a precise way and human power was not overpowered by intellect.
The exhibit at A.A.B. brought his latest works to the public so they could meet him at the “Il Minotauro” Gallery which was followed by a discussion among the artist and some friends and critics.
Which are the qualities and characteristics of De Lucia’s art? The first aspect that rises in the sculpture and etchings of this Sicilian artist (Neapolitan Editor’s Note) was the sense of form; closed lines and broken forms, strong feeling of plastic values. If De Lucia abandoned himself to this formal sensitivity he would give us beautiful classic works of art. Just think of other sculptors of his land, in Messina, Greco, and Cappello, from the Mediterranean and Greek sentiment with forms of the human figure, harmony, beauty of the face and human body.
But De Lucia has another element, a component present in his works of art, that are the constancy of intelligence and psychology of the artist. The need to intervene with his works of the human spirituality communicating problems and tragedies of his time. Here is where the continuous and suffered polemic of his sculpture begins. Divinity, condition of blacks, violence, hidden and evident oppression, and the sculptor puts himself at the level of justice to denounce. Nothing new, nothing more general and divulged: it is true but it must be added that this artist with a clear and acute intelligence has the need to communicate and discuss. He is one of the first of his generation to take a position conceiving art as a moral, political intervention, as a tool involving artists and interlocutors on problems that besiege us and do not give peace. The most important thing to add was what he does as an artist without resorting to impure means, without influencing his works with foreign elements.
It is the confrontation with graphic art, De Lucia’s etchings where he begins first delicate intimacy and realistic works of fantasy and technique. He shows how man with civil interests has left all necessary space to for plans that cannot be separated nor undeservedly mixed.
Some may have nostalgia of what De Lucia could have become without this continuous intervention of moral and civil interests, of the exclusively aesthetical natural beauty to be given. But De Lucia’s choice was to have a more committed art, “dirty”,: not a neoclassic epigono, but a sculptor who continuously breaks the form not only to see it but also accept or refuse what it represents in ideas, not only aesthetical.
ATTILIO MAZZA - Giuseppe De Lucia - Scultore e Grafico - Le Firme - Brescia - July 1976.
Each one of us carries in the heart their own fetish: money, sex, success, certain myths. The idols that falsify life empting mankind and blinding his way of thinking. On this theme Giuseppe De Lucia has extensively meditated, also for us. He has made provocative sculptures revealing all the artist’s talent.
De Lucia is not an easy man. First of all it is not easy for himself, meaning he wants to obtain substance from the skin- for Aristotle it is the subject of the future, concrete subject acting and undergoing. He wants to go to the bottom of things, grasp the mechanism of everything to find a new creative space. Still from a Aristotlis point of view, he feels deeply accidental, determining substance; as if we are all an accident. There is no need to continue: we will end up writing about De Lucia as a philosopher and not an artist, or better a sculptor. Mention of this is however necessary. Otherwise his presence would be incomprehensible. Certainly this is among the most interesting aspects because he unites rationality and poetry.
His father would have wanted him to be a merchant. Instead he became an artist. His father sent him to study accounting but his studies were worthless. At the end of his studies he contested and said goodbye to everything (the greatest part of his studies were in France where the family immigrated during fascism) and he enrolled in Brera. He was able to give into his artistic genius making his studies of accounting miserable. Under the direction of Carpi he fell in love with fifteenth century Italian art which was a fundamental lesson, the basis of his artistic career. Then came other loves: for Caravaggio, Courbet, “social” painters. Witnesses and interpreters of their time. And of course other loves, starting with Picasso. A spiritual affliction illuminated by a certain light, spirits of those who had already walked that road.
After the academy (where he graduated in 1953), the cortex of life: teaching, work, exhibitions, marriage (1955) and children (Maurizio in 1956, Paolo in 1960, Giovanni in 1963). In 1958 he moved to Brescia and taught at "Ugo Foscolo", where he was a full time teacher starting from 1960. With the vortex of life, the research of pictorial-expressive identity, culminated in Abstract Expressionism (exhibit in 1962 at A.A.B.). "From that moment painting stopped being my main means of expression. The crisis lasted three years. In 1965 I thought of sculpting: at the beginning, I used heterogeneous materials then bronze ".
Sculpting could seem a starting point; instead it was a natural point of arrival. Also while painting De Lucia was always sculpting. His academic studies on antique painting had a three-dimensional key: discovery of lines, geometry and volume. It is useful to mention the latest pictorial goal, Abstract Expressionism given by the “need to express through depth and not only material". On the other side, his pictorial works – and still today graphic art clarifies and verifies the various stages of his artistic knowledge, besides rigorous and independent intensification of the expressive possibilities " - ; the pictorial works are all founded on the research of volume, spaces, more than on the lights and colors.
De Lucia 1965-1975, ten years of sculpting. In the beginning it was research of materials: sculpting with different materials; create emotion through many objects. A certain neo-dada, a "togetherness” (exhibit at Minotauro Gallery , 1967). Then came maturity and the awareness for the artisan importance of the sculptor; consideration of non-labile material, destined to last; pairing expressive-dramatic figuration. And here is where the fetish gradually began, reaching a balance between form and content, protest and poetry (1970). The last research is towards the most intimate moment, recuperating emotional sentiment (maternity) with figures emerging from solidified water, confirming entirety.
Research of the arrival point is not everything. There is a secret moment of De Lucia’s works which escapes from cataloguing. It is maybe the most spontaneous moment, the artist’s need to translate into form certain moments of life, above and beyond any reflection. This work gives a “different” dimension, maybe the most “natural". And here is Donna al balcone (Woman at the balcony), in its most expressive synthesis or L'incontro di Papa Paolo con Atenagora (Encounter of Pope Paul with Atenagora ("I wanted to try the monumental and celebratory sculpture "). And again homage to Quasimodo; or to his friend Guerreschi. Moments of truth, in which his true nature can be found, breaking from the rational barrier and human problems to give life to works of art which had been imprisoned in his heart for a long time. These sculptures more than others show his creative vigor.
Another aspect of his operation, highly regarded by the artist is graphic art. A moment- as mentioned – of verification and liberation: “ I can express through etchings what I cannot do with sculpting ". A safety valve. This is because sculpting does not allow swiftness; it does not allow to translate an intuition with immediacy. The passage through material shows emotion and sentiment.
The artist and society. Meaning contents. But let us leave the last word to De Lucia: "Once the initial phases are surpassed, convictions of man occur: social criticism. The objective of the research is the entire man. But there is always a moment of doubt ". Furthermore: "The artist cannot operate abstractly; he must be within a society, he must be the main character of his time ". And what does art mean today? "The importance of every research. There is no progress without research. Growth is part of the same human existence. Research must be awarded":
This is complex, as complex as human nature. Inside and outside of us there is a lot of fog. External dualism between absolute and relative, between existing and not. The awareness of the limited covering we carry is important. The same awareness spring of De Lucia’s creativity, between reasoning and sentiment, between drama and poetry.
GIUSEPPE ARCAINI - Introduzione alla mostra antologica dello scultore Giuseppe De Lucia - Catalogo della mostra alla Rocca Sforzesca di Soncino (CR) dal 18 al 31 March 1984.
A lecture on a work of art to be as objective as possible must be done atleast ideall with two voices; one of the author together with the lecturer. The fomer could illustrate the subjective point of view of his intentions, language and poetry by talking about his art and the latter say what they have found and belive. Without entering in definitions connected to one or another artistic current, a work of art may be considered not only by the artist who thought of it but also by who sees and reads it; I witness this interpretation, rennoated every day by the study and attendance of arhcitectual and sculptorial museums etc. …
A painting, a sculpture or a book are at a fork; they are almost the physical location of an encounter where basic powers and operate on each of us. That is the artist’s thought at the moment the work is created around man and the power andideas come for outside.
The first aspect is individual, it defines the artist, his nature, way of being andestablishes relationships with other men and their works; the second aspect unites instances, ideas, social fcts, etc. and stimulates the artists and provokes him to express in various art forms. These two presences are thinkable when creating and presenting it to the public – he artist and the others - ; both have a sense and a precise and indentifiable value. Movement in one direction or in another and the reciprocal influences justify the behaviour of the artist and the significance of his works.
This is the theoretical moment in which De Lucia justifies his accuse, thorugh his works on social aspects which denigrate man leaving him asa prey of his instincts and leaving him in the power and arbitration of other men. The artist’s individuality is evident in is way to feel and produce by freely reacting. Works that acts as aplit between himself and the others. His work is not isolated by others because neother one physically sees inteself separated; but a synthesis or a way obeing and reproduces in a diffent unity a theme that make up humanity. This highly human ision must be seen as an ideal alue, with ambiguity and tendency, mut as correctly naive. Human solidariety is the evident aspect of his relationship with others and how he faces great subjects resent in life and history, used by De Lucia in his works; they are eros, love; thanatos, death morte; mitogonia, distruction of myths; once removed an empty shell remains. As the artist says: "If you wish I may say this of you or me; ut you too will have to speak ". It is a way to call for doubts of spiritual and moral values which the artist asks and involves the lecturer The lecturer has found his “voice”; he can become the author of the message.
As each of us, De Lucia in different moments was involved in great social and cultural happening and he lived them in a dramatic way; for example “ War and Peace,” Submissione”, “Power”, Chastity Belt” or “Woman in Cage ", in which he shows a woman conditioned to an object or imprisoned animal and degraded, brought by others to that state (maybe today you are somewhat part of it?). The vistim and the author of the violence are infront of us; the former as a strange animak and the latter as the inertia of the metal cage. It would be a big mistake to look at this work only for its meaning, even though grand, social and human nby which they are characterized for two reasons.
The first still does not exhaust its function in the accusation – negative moment – but it proposes a positive constructive side: theywithhold a solution to the problem even if in artistic terms; once the cage is removed (prejuidism) from male omination), who is inside will find freedom. It is the symbol of this diffculty that is also poetic in the use of material as the exterior aspect o the idea.
The second reason is the most important: it justifies the actions of the artist and it is te creation of beauty: if the work of art was ugly it would make no sense or have any value. However on this important aspect that beauty dos not mean graciousness or easily legible but intimate relationship between forms anf the subject to execute or create; with the low relief "Necroforum" the artist throws a look full of anxiety on legislation (meaning how somereference points for man are made) and the representation is united with the intimacy and duration of the scenic expression, terrifying in its rariety….
The following authors have written about De Lucia:
Giuseppe Arcaini (BS), Andrea Bacci (CR), Paola Bellandi (BS), Gianluigi Be-rardi (BS), Alessia Biasiolo (BS), Enzo Bruno (BS), Nicola Brunori (Chicago), Dino Buzzati (MI), Elvira Cassa-Salvi (BS), Piero Castaldi (BS), Gianni Cavazzini (PR), Gilberto Cavicchioli (BS), F. C. (RM), Jean Chabanon (Parigi), Alberto Chiappani (BS), Gl. Col. (CR), Mauro Corradini (BS), Alfonso Daré (BS), Raffaele De Grada (MI), Mario De Micheli (MI), Floriano De Santi (BS), Vittorio De Simone (BS), Enzo Fabiani (MI), F. (Ferrari) (MN), Fr. (MN), Vasco Frati (BS), Antonio Frova (MI), Guido Giuffrè (BS), Gianfranco Giuliani (VA), Giuseppe Guerreschi (Sanremo), Mario Lepore (MI), Francesco Loda (BS), Enzo Lo Faro (RM), L. L. (BN), Riccardo Lonati (BS), Iginio Lopez (MI), Fausto Lorenzi (BS), Mario Lunetta (RM), Vittoria Magno (TV), Giuseppe Mangano (Chicago), Bruno Marini (BS), Giacomo Massenza (BS), Attilio Mazza (BS), Giannetto Mirko (BS), Salvatore Moffa (BN), Hermanance Molina (Pari-gi), Luciano Mondini (BS), D. Secondo Moretti (BS), Alberto Morucci (BS), Giuseppe Nasillo (TO), Piera Parietti (MI), Franco Passoni (MI), Renato Prandi (TV), Guglielmo Poloni (BS), Nello Punzo (NA), Réva Rémy (Parigi), Titta Rizzo (BS), Vinicio Saviantoni (RM), A. S. (MN), A. S. (VR), Luigi Serravalli (VR), Luciano Spazzì (BS), Guido Stella (BS), Roberto Tedoldi (BS), Giannetto Valzelli (BS), Aldo Za-gni (BS), Alberto Zaina (BS)