PRINT January 1983


Alberto Savinio’s life defines him as an argonaut—his life was a continuous voyage through the world, but above all through the realms of the unconscious. First of all there was Savinio the painter, whose only guide was metamorphosis; then there was Savinio the composer, who in the years prior to World War I stupefied Guillaume Apollinaire with his dodecaphonic blocks of sounds. Finally there was Savinio the man of letters, the contributor to Dada publications, who frequented Surrealist circles in Paris and who later became the disenchanted poet of black humor.

Certain prejudices about Savinio must be shaken loose. He clearly did not think of himself primarily as a painter: “With my kind of painting one doesn’t ask ‘what is painting,’ but rather ‘who am I?’. I’ll tell you immediately: I am a painter who is beyond painting. For painters, painting is an end. For some—for very few—it

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