In the Bedroom
Nella camera, 1964
IN THE BEDROOM
by Alberto Sughi
Alberto Sughi had become one of the greatest Italian artists of his generation. A self-taught painter. He started painting in the early 1950s, choosing realism in the debate between abstract and figurative art in the immediate post-war period. Even from his early works, however, Sughi’s paintings have avoided any attempt at social moralising. They depict moments from daily life with no heroes, allowing Enrico Crispolti, in 1956, to define his work as "existential realism". His artistic expression proceeds, almost always, in thematic cycles, in the manner of film sequences. First of all, there were his so-called "green paintings", devoted to the relationship between man and nature (1971-1973), then the Supper cycle (1975-1976), after that the 20 paintings and fifteen studies of Imagination and Memory of the Family, dating from the early 1980s; the series Evening or reflection started from 1985. His most recent series of large canvases, exhibited in 2000, is entitled Nocturnal.
| The theme of incommunicability dominates Alberto Sughi’s metropolitan scenes and half-empty rooms, populated by lovers. In the work In the bedroom (Nella camera) two visionary human figures, a man and a woman, reduced to almost ectoplasmic forms, are ‘camping out’ in the dark and anonymous space of a hotel room, illuminated by the bright glare of electric light. Although we are given no clue as to whether they are occasional lovers or a well-established couple, we clearly feel the distance and incommunicability separating the two figures, each trapped in their own solitude. Sughi does not show the woman’s face, as she sits half-naked on the bed, stretching, with her hands pressing against her back. The man has his back to her and, as often happens in Sughi’s works in this period, he is staring ahead, looking at himself in a mirror to straighten his tie and hastily leave the room before his companion.