Twentieth century Palermo revived in paintings by Antonio Cutino

The Chairman of Fondazione Terzo Pilastro – Internazionale, Ambassador to Palermo CulturE nel Mondo, Professor Emmanuele F. M. Emanuele, the President of Fondazione Whitaker, Professor Paolo Matthiae and the Director-Secretary General of Fondazione Whitaker, Maria Enza Carollo presented the Exhibition titled ‘Palermo del ‘900 – Nel Segno della Tradizione’ on the 26th of November 2019 in the Salone della Musica at Villa Malfitano Whitaker.

The exhibition, specially designed by the curator Giacomo Fanale for the exhibition spaces in the prestigious Fondazione Whitaker at Villa Malfitano, was produced by Fondazione Cultura e Arte, an instrumentality of Fondazione Terzo Pilastro – Internazionale, which promoted it.

The daughter of the Maestro, Liliana Cutino provided important advice and helped to trace the works kept in prestigious public and private collections.  A selection of eighty artworks, including paintings, pastels and posters are exhibited.

Thirty-five years after his death, Master Cutino’s retrospective emphasises his extensive pictorial output over many years of artistic activity.  The curator, Giacomo Fanale, declared, “An exemplification of the various genre that characterise his vast output.  From the landscapes, which feel the effects of the brilliance of the scenery of the Sicilian countryside, with evident references to Francesco Lojacono, in Ulivi (Olive Trees) 1970 and Crepuscolo (Dusk)1972, and in earlier works, such as Chiesetta a Villa Tasca (Church at Villa Tasca) 1964 and  Primavera a Villa Tasca (Spring at Villa Tasca) 1964. However, in the landscapes, Giardino con Pergolato (Garden with Pergola) 1963 and La Mietitura (Harvesting) 1970, interesting personal chromatic modifications emerge.  In the Veduta di Monte Pellegrino 1957, Cutino proposes a new interpretation of a recurring subject in paintings by Lojacono, Mario Mirabella and other vedutisti.”

Several examples of his professional interest in graphic design and graphic illustration, which began to emerge in Italy, are exhibited allowing visitors to better understand the various aspects of his complex personality, in an dedicated area of the exhibition, expressive of an important part of his artistic career.

Professor Emmanuele F. M. Emanuele, Chairman of a Fondazione Terzo Pilastro – Internazionale (which promoted the exhibition) was determined to hold this important retrospective in one of the most prestigious venues in Palermo, thus offering a posthumous acknowledgement of Master Antonio Cutino’ work, closely related to his childhood memories. In fact he affirmed, “I became acquainted with painting as a child, because he was one of vedutisti and portraitists who my grandmother Francesca Papia Orestano loved most, and I often accompanied home together with my mother.  Therefore I decided to do justice to the Master by holding this retrospective composed of around eighty works including oil paintings and graphic designs, which through his art highlights several aspects of the principal culture in Post-War Sicily, and as an illustrator and poster designer captures the reconstruction and economic development of the country.

Therefore, I felt that the unique setting of Villa Malfitano Whitaker in Palermo with its beautifully decorated halls that contain Joseph Whitaker’s rich collection of art objects (including various paintings by Francesco Lojacono), was the ideal venue to exhibit the paintings and drawings by this artist so attached to the Sicilian pictorial tradition in the years straddling the two centuries, a tradition that Fondazione Terzo Pilastro already celebrated in 2014 with the monumental exhibition  ‘Di là del faro. Paesaggi e pittori siciliani dell’Ottocento (On the other side of the Pharos. Landscapes and Painters in the Nineteenth Century ‘ held at Villa Zito.”

The presentation of the book by the art historian Gioacchino Barbera and the curator Giacomo Fanale, with texts by Professor Emmanuele F. M. Emanuele published by Silvana Editoriale was held on the occasion of the exhibition.