Stefano Di Stasio

Fabio Sargentini Associazione Culturale L'Attico

Stefano Di Stasio’s painting affirms “the presence of the past.” His ideal models range from Raphael to the 16th century to the metaphysical surrealism of Giorgio de Chirico. It is no accident that since the ’70s, Maurizio Calvesi—the critic and art historian who selected Di Stasio for the next Venice Biennale—has called the artist’s work “anachronistic.” This alone lets us understand the mental and conceptual thrust of his work, which it would be a mistake to reduce to simple, traditional “figurative painting.”

One painting here more than any other exemplified this conceptual tension. Although smaller in format than the other more impressive and spectacular canvases, and placed almost off to the side, I guardanti (The observers, 1994) radiated a disquieting charm. Two men stand back to back within an abstract, geometric interior, the only exit a very distant door from which a light is

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