The production of F. Alquati begins in the 40’s and during the 2nd World War (1945) he’s in Algeria where joins his first “exhibition” , organized for captives-artists. Here he receives an important award by painting a liric and famous poetic composition of Ungaretti “Mi illumino di immenso” (I light myself on with the immense). In 1948 he’s present to the “Casa del Popolo” di Como with other young artists and their teacher, Mario Radice, organizes also an exhibition which will be very important for Alquati. There he receives his second award with a B/W painting “ The death of Eurialus”. In the years after the war he joins many artistic lines but he prefers a lonely work rather than staying in group, to assemble and study his emotions. He participates occasionally to some other exhibition till the important “National Exhibition of Holy Art” nearby the Angelicum, where his painting “The red crucifixion” sparks among Carrà and Ferrazzi paintings. In 1955, during the Manzoni celebration, he’s awarded with the 1st prize of “Paint and Engraving”: lately he leaves that kind of exhibitions. He works really hard, increasing his abilities in graphic techniques while he paints the card-board for the tapestry “Landscape of Lecco” nearby the “School of Tapestry-weaver” (Esino – Lc). He paints also abstract subjects and natural landscapes with intense and liric pattern but because the return of a desease (he was addicted during the war) he must leave for few months his studies. To recall the words of Moravia : “if some artist wanted to give us more than wanted to tell, Alquati tells otherwise more than he dares give”. In fact he refuses a public action, understood as a trouble explaining the deep sorrow he feels around, and tries to show how a concrete art can be made also talking to people, with a common or personal pattern. It’s too early anyway to decribe in whole the art of Alquati and put him into a category. In a meeting with the artist, not so long ago, we observed some new aspects, expressed by an essential writing and a sparkling colour. Alquati brings back to a sort of neo-Humanism, where the young artists of his period find their dimension, with the goal to reach artistic emotions.
To clearly explain the Art of Alquati we add now in the following parts pieces of letters sended to F. Alquati by art-oriented friends and artists.
L. Landi - florentine writer
Dear Franco, I recognize you into your letter: a good artist with a spirit of sorrow, an artist who’s not satisfied by the research of new conquered shores, a man among the typical contraddictions of the human beings, that you cross over with sincere feeling. I just want to tell you useful things because you’re one of those people who cuddle the universe of sense without choke it. Do the research is equal to find what you’re seaching for… is it really worth? Answer is yes.
G. Ghiringhelli - 7 Dicembre 1951 to the artist called “Arcangelo Rosso” *
…You play with words to hide and protect your artistic feeling. What can I say about your work? It’s tough for me and anyway who can? Who can talk about your work, say the truth ? You’re the only one can talk it about… . If you really want to play the game spending your energies remember that the art is jelous.
*Alquati didn’t ever tell Ghiringhelli that behind that name there was his personal friend Alquati. Alquati used to sign few of the paintings (now lost or destroyed) created in that period (1948-52) with this name. Ghiringhelli was in 1952 director of “Il Milione” Gallery. In the same time Alquati paints also with new techniques and using another fake name (Hans Karlendt) draws landscapes and fantastic animals, published as wishes cardboards by the editor “Vela di Milano”.
Critics by Journals and Magazines
The artistic view presented by Alquati is a bit weird and such different from those ones of young painters till this time analyzed along many exhibitions. His paintings have an impulsive effect and he performs it with a strong cromatic impact. His spontaneous ability lights on all the elements represented into the artwoks and his composition is very interesting, as in a fantastic journey throught the world. He transforms a lonely bycicle, abandoned, into a lonely man: loneliness or drama? The language of Alquati is crystal clear: he doesn’t lose his path into useless labyrinths but makes a concrete reflexion, helped by a neverending meditation.
- VITA CATTOLICA - Piero Riccardi
Among young artists Alquati seems to try lead the art to the people, centre of society, and he has already felt happiness and sadness during the exhibitions; he knows the flavour of the imminent glory that sometimes corrupts the spirit, forcing to trash away the real work to obtain throught an easier way an applause from liars. He talks to people with an easy pattern and he has the gift of listening to them. His paintings, with freshness of colours, opens a world where the man “fights himself with artistic weapons”..
- LA VOCE di LECCO - E.M
Alquati shows in his paintings a very interesting graphic ability, powered by special colours that hide a deep and expressive research.
- CORRIERE DELLA PROVINCIA, Como - Morando Morandini
Alquati tries to solve the tricky problem between man-stucture and cosmic-structure. He has a sad soul but he shows anyway which way we should and must follow: a coming back to ancient roots. The art of Alquati is a “stuck and still” (as the war of the man versus himself), because the drama puts the artist in front of a big trouble: to understand a world anew each day in the art.
- LA NAZIONE, Firenze - C.B. Cini.
Alquati, time by time, will become a very interesting artist for art critics
- magazine GLAUCO, Novara - Alfio Coccia.
His art makes me think of symphonic opera
- Spartaco Balestrieri - Milano.
Man and artist hard to understand but his artistic expression is very powerful. Tha painter is just the same while he makes colours exploding and when he fells himself falling apart into lines and draws. Landscapes, animals,things, everything is painted with great ability and technique and with the same flavour.
- LA NOTTE, Milano - G. C.
Alquati hides and chokes the feelings, maybe because he’s scared by excessive pride, poisonous for any true painter; anyway his heart walks throught and finds out a sparkling smile of poetry. Only into few paintings we can find easily poetic aspects, but watching better it is possibile discover them also inti other draws that seem to be made by a cold man. He isn’t pompous, he has no bad behaviour and he defends his ideas, he dug into himself and never changed his mind. Alquati is one the most interesting painters of our time and his heart flies into the space; he belongs to a world where all is pair: height is sky, width is colours, time is dubt.
- LA PROVINCIA, Como - Redazionale.
Beautiful paintings, large paint-boards with many colours and his sensible heart sparks in them. He follows the images of a world full of things to transfer them into a sphere where everything inside justifies itself and its existence. Alquati has an italian spirit that doesn’t stop anytime: from Chierico to Carrà (famous italian painters) to S.Fiume (his personal friend); artist rich of great and inventive power. The meeting with these artists forced Alquati to listen up to his heart increasing his artistic technique. Alquati loves great composition: he draws lines, puts colours into an empty space and transforms it into a painting almost…electric. He loves landscapes suspended between reality and dream and he has faith in his own work.
- LA PROVINCIA, Cremona - Mario Ghilardi.
Into a painting of Alquati the ability doesn’t choke the freshness and his style participates to his joyful art.
- IL RESEGONE, Lecco - Etimo.
From the first approching to the colours-board we can understand that Alquati is a good painterand it is possible to discover it by watching the equilibrium of the draws. Violent colours and poetry are special charateristics of Franco Alquati: he’s a poet/painter and a painter/poet. He paints to tell us what he fells into his heart and it’s up to a need of connecting with other human beings that his artworks are very hard to create but they improve a lot his artistic pattern. Since his youth his joy to paint has been the same throught the years and the fantasy of the past is just thesame today. Alquati has something left to tell and that makes him work on, keeping him to top.
- L'ORDINE, Como - D. Brivio.
F. Alquati is born in Cremona (Italy) and Lecco is a city of adoption, but here he learns the naturalistic sense of art, understood as object of artistic expression. His art runs away from an objective need for external reproduction and Alquati show clearly his feeligs. His behaviour, ever happy with friends, lies about the man inside the painter but he’s just the same person in every artwork. So what are we searching for? An ancient root, or better the ancient root, the first line that, growing up, brought, from a restless sense, to a formal ability into the dialogue with all the aspects around the art: on the othe hand Alquati brings on the painting amotions and colours that are expression of them. Those aspects build up a comedy/drama structure where the subject is the world outside. Into this world men are actors but we must avoid to to turn his people into man-machines
- PROFILI di ARTISTI LECCHESI- Carlo del Teglio.
Alquati must be placed inte the group of italian artists who reached important award by paying the prize with true sorrow.
- Catalog of the Exhibition of Grandate.
Other Magazines that talks about F. Alquati:
LA NAZIONE - Firenze, IL CORRIERE DELLA PROVINCIA di Como, LA PROVINCIA di Cremona, GLAUCO di Novara, PAGINE DI VITA LECCHESE di Lecco, SECOLO XIX di Genova, LA VOCE DI LECCO, L'ECO DELLE VALLI di Sondrio, LA ROCCA di Assisi, ADESSO di Modena, CORRIERE DELLA RIVIERA di S.Remo, L'UNITA' di Milano, IL GIORNALE DI LECCO, SOCIALITA' CRISTIANA di Bergamo, L'ORDINE di Como, IL RESEGONE di Lecco, L'AVVENIRE di Lecco, KURSAAL di Firenze, LA PROVINCIA di Como, VITA CATTOLICA di Cremona, ARTE CONTEMPORANEA di Roma, MOTIVI per la difesa della cultura di Cremona, ORA di Busto Arsizio, IL GAZZETTINO PADANO Rai Milano, LA RIVISTA di Lecco.
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