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Franco Angeli Senza titolo

Franco Angeli
Senza titolo
, 1964

mixed media, 155 × 200 cm

The hammer and sickle and the star (which derives from the American flag) are two of the most typical images of Angeli, protagonist of the Piazza del Popolo School in Rome, and in general of Italian "pop" research. Those images are worth as icons of great recognizability and ideological value, which the artist adopted as they were emblematic of the era in which he lived, the 1960s of special political commitment, felt by many artists. The treatment of images in Angeli is never mechanical as happens with many of the American "popists", but always accompanied by evident manual traces, almost as if to attest to a humanistic request against the pure objectivity of the painting. In our case, the manual skill is exhibited in the very definition of the hammer and sickle and the star that underlies it, in an overlap that allows the two images to be distinguished due to a different chromatic tone, a difference in the yellow-greenish dominant that invades the entire surface. The latter is not the result of a uniform and impersonal application but on the contrary bears various material accidents, such as stains, thicknesses of paint, traces of brushstrokes. Angeli's poetics up to this date are in fact affected by the informal climate, which leads to treating the surface as a plane rich in formal events and not as a neutral and uniformly defined background.

from: Fondazione Arnaldo Pomodoro. La Collezione permanente, exhibition catalogue, edited by G. Verzotti, A. Vettese, Milano, Skira, 2007, p. 173.