Renato Guttuso. Spes contra spem

Crispolti, E & Pizziolo, M 2000, Renato Guttuso. Spes contra spem. I capolavori della Fondazione Pellin, Electa, Milan.

A monograph that marks the creation of the Francesco Pellin Foundation. Dedicated to the study and popularisation of the work of Renato Guttuso, the Foundation was brought into being thanks to the commitment of Marina Pizziolo, who went on to direct it for four years.

“The story of a private collection is constructed according to unpredictable architectures. The conflict between the rigour of reason, which would like to govern choices of significant economic value, and the lightning flash of passion, which unveils the work designated for purchase to the collector, controls the growth of an art collection according to anomalous schemes: capable sometimes, precisely for this reason, of revealing to the critic unusual paths of interpretation of an artist’s work or a given epochal crucible. The rigid scientific taxonomy that guides the ordering of an exhibition, privileged by the possibility of drawing from a practically boundless repertoire, however much conditioned by the obtaining of loans, is overwhelmed in a private collection by a random combination of a myriad of factors. On the other hand, the watershed between an exhibition and a private collection is the ownership of the works. Yet despite the apparent obviousness of this consideration, the collector inevitably suffers a kind of pitiless economic ordeal: in the sense that the artistic value of his or her collection is measured on the basis of the presence or not of masterpieces that the market, precisely because of their quality as works that are out of the ordinary, not only offers up very rarely but also with price estimates that in the case of some artists have reached figures out of all proportion. At least, therefore, the capacity of a collector to acquire a masterpiece should never be confused with his or her capacity to recognise it: in a paradoxical and unsustainable equivalence between acquisition, which is an expression of economic power, and critical appraisal, which is a gesture of intelligence”.