Old India - Quintilio Bruschi
From 5 4 to 5 5 2019
Fifth of seven brothers, Quintilio Bruschi was born in a peasant family of Cortona on 2 March 1912. He spent his entire life in the heart of Valdichiana: first in Cortona, then in Acquaviva di Montepulciano, where he died in his 90s in 2002 .
He left Cortona at the beginning of the 1930s, to go to the Forte Santa Caterina in Verona, where he was an artilleryman and responsible for an arms depot. During the war he fought in Libya, where he was seriously injured in the parietal and was forced to repatriate. In 1937 he married Mafalda Crocini. The couple had no children, and could live on Quintilio's disability pension.
Bruschi began to sculpt and draw in 1970, at the age of fifty-eight. Before that time he had never worked wood, yet one morning he decided to get chisel and mallet and began to work the first piece of wood that he found, until he managed to create a whole figure that would later donate to Pope Paul VI.
Thanks to the sculpture, Bruschi managed to get rid of his anxieties, reworking them and transforming reality into an imaginary world. The art allowed him to overcome a profound depressive crisis that most likely dated back to the wound suffered in war.
Bruschi made impressive sculptures in oak, walnut, cherry, but also used old automobile tires, tin cuttings and cardboard.
Among his most frequent subjects, the self-portraits and depictions of women and men he defined as "of first eras". These figures have a sacral character and widen the arms, expressing amazement and a hypnotic and almost magical reverence. His female figures - busts and madonnas with naked breasts surrounded by nameless animals - denote an irrepressible sensuality.
His works recall the artistic traditions of exotic peoples, such as the totems of the Indian tribes, the pre-Columbian art and the sculptural depictions of Easter Island.
In his works we observe a profound mingling of the living beings of the present and of the past, an aspect already evident from the cultured quotations that are hidden in the titles: "The 800 coal house going up the mountain to make calories for the family", Duca D'Aosta "," La Nonna "," Infanzia "," Il Faraone "," Old India "," Minerva that comes from the head of Jupiter ".
What is surprising is that Bruschi, authentic self-taught, has never had technical and cultural influences: his is a spontaneous and singular creativity, which allows him to frame him in the naive, instinctive and devoid of a true tradition. As the art historian Oto Bihalji-Merin wrote, "like children and primitives, naïfs do not paint or sculpt what they see, but what they know or believe".
In life, Bruschi obtained praises, articles, reviews, good reviews from critics and television appearances. He could show his art in cities like Turin, Bolzano, Bari and Palermo.
His works were exhibited for the last time in 1997 at the exhibition Arte Necessaria at the Cantieri Culturali della Zisa di Palermo. Alessandra Ottieri, curator of the initiative, called Bruschi an outsider, bringing it together with eleven other artists able to create a deeply expressive and valuable art, even if completely self-taught, of humble origins, in some cases with psychological problems and without any relationship with the environment of official art.
From April 5 to May 5 2019 the private collection of the Bruschi family, "Old India", including some of Quintilio Bruschi's most expressive wooden works will be exhibited at the Fortezza del Girifalco, in the halls of the first floor in front of the inner courtyard.
The exhibitions is realized thanks to the support of the Municipality of Cortona
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