Donato Frisia. L’invenzione del vero

Pizziolo, M 1992, Donato Frisia. L’invenzione del vero, Bolis, Bergamo.

The first critical-historical reconstruction of the figure of Donato Frisia, a Lombard artist who was active in the first half of the 20th century. Appreciated by artists such as Braque and Amedeo Modigliani, who dedicated no less than five portraits to him.

“If Donato Frisia had been born in Paris, today Europe would have another Utrillo”, Ivo Senesi complained in 1950. “Unfortunately Italy, that inexhaustible hatchery of artists, is made this way: only today, abroad, is it beginning to be known that our 19th century had some great masters of painting.” And, a few years later, his words were echoed by Mario Radice, who commented bitterly: “If Frisia had been born and raised in Paris, his name would probably be known on the international market. He was born and raised in this blessed Italy of today, in which, with a few rare exceptions, only after death are the best artists honoured.” Frisia considered abstract research as an absurd form of presumption: that of being able to transcend the magic of reality. “The beautiful in the real”, that was his credo. A deep-rooted conviction that always held him firmly anchored to the real image. “Art is a creation of love”, he wrote. And that is precisely the way it is; you can invent the real: you just need to know how to look at it.

Talk at the opening of the exhibition. Beside Marina Pizziolo, Ennio Morlotti and Ernesto Treccani, whose memories of Donato Frisia appear in the catalogue of the exhibition