• Italo Scanga

    The Oakland Museum / John Berggruen Gallery

    Fairfield Porter once said of the Italian abstract painters of the '50s that they had “a common sense of humor that prevents them from taking their art seriously enough. They are like wise clowns inhibited by a knowledge of the vanity of all human effort” The same might be said of Italo Scanga, a Calabrese by birth and a naturalized Californian as if by temperament. His sculptures are spirited without pressure. He seems to want them to have style and meaning but cheerfully refuses to go flat-out for either. Hence, his best pieces are the most easygoing, the ones in which his materials—wood,

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