Giuseppe Uncini

Galleria Giò Marconi / Galleria Christian Stein

Around 1960, Pier Paolo Pasolini was describing the life of Rome’s new urban periphery, with its big apartment blocks right up against age-old nature and inhabited by a lumpenproletariat that seemed to hold the memory of a certain classical grandeur in its very DNA. At the same time the sculptor Giuseppe Uncini, just over thirty years old, was developing a personal poetics that in many aspects paralleled Pasolini’s, using bare, rough, unadorned reinforced concrete as the symbol of a new aesthetic, a modernity that had to be reckoned with, for better or worse. Uncini’s “Cementarmati” (Reinforced concrete pieces), made between 1958 and 1963, are pervaded by a sort of cry, along with the modern yet somehow archaic beauty of a material that was developed to be functional rather than aesthetic. In “Ombre” (Shadows), 1967–78, he calmly analyzed the material’s “negative,” or shadow. The “Dimore

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