During the Eighties, Corbo abandons fluidly the discussion of the major themes that had characterized the first two decades of his artistic activity to focus attention on the investigation of the landscape, competing in the development of compositional techniques that, better than others, could embody the idea and the synthesis of his previous artistic researches. These are the years which represent, in parallel, the era of another series of paintings particularly close to the artist, that is to say the study of the nude. The artistic life of the Eighties is a very detailed period in the cultural field, often minimized but, in fact, an era of great experimentation’s techniques. The conceptual weightings of the past are, in essence, confined in the memory and the desire of a return to painting – understood in its most traditional form and, for this, apparently more understandable – seems strongly to influence the dynamics of the relationship artist-viewer. Trans-avant-garde and Postmodernism hound with lively rhythm and Corbo seems to greet influences from outside. If the investigation of the landscape continues stubbornly along the path already taken, the analysis on the figure appears to be unique in the whole production of the artist, a kind of emotional pause capable of producing works of absolute value. In observing Corbo’ s undressed portraits, the reference to the works of Renato Guttuso seems obvious, so many are the similarities and the compositional issues: from the use of the materials and the pillars to the existential attitudes of the subjects, from the erotic vision to the overwhelming desire of realism. Corbo looks to the iconographic heritage of Guttuso with great deference, the same as the Sicilian master proved to try in taking it from the teachings of the great painters of the past. However, it is the nature of the landscape the real star of this creative phase of the artist, a survey in constant evolution that accompanies Corbo in the transition to the new decade and that will have amazing developments in the years to follow. The artistic production of the Nineties, characterized by a marked narrative breakup, seems not to influence unduly the survey carried out by Antonio Corbo who, with conviction and capacity, focuses on the development of a unique pictorial language, far from historical legacies and perfectly placed in his time. The Nineties represent for the artist the time when it have been worth the trouble to take a firm and stance status, far from the artistic attitude rigidly pegged to the market rules and apt to build up a poetic formulating alternative system of the image’s investigation. The artist, conscious of the historical function of the pictorial practice, focuses his efforts on the creation of a new iconographic heritage where aesthetic and contemplative attitude represent the guidelines in the fruition of the artwork.

Silvia Valente

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