Fernando Farulli 1923 – 1997

Academy of Fine Arts of Florence presents
Exhibition on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of his birth.

Sala del Basolato and in the Sala Costantini of the Municipality of Fiesole
Ghiberti Hall of the Academy of Fine Arts of Florence

“Farulli’s painting had long been waiting for an overall reconsideration
that reiterated its coherence and claimed its extremely high quality in all its phases,
freeing it from readings that are too tied to the spirit of the time.”
Marco Pierini, curator of the exhibition

17 JULY 2023 – 17 SEPTEMBER 2023

On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Fernando Farulli, the Municipality of Fiesole and the Academy of Fine Arts of Florence are proposing a retrospective exhibition – entitled Fernando Farulli (1923-1997) – which intends to retrace and read with a new gaze, critically updated, artistic production, equally accounting for the activity of a man of culture.

“Fernando Farulli was Councilor for Culture of the Municipality of Fiesole for almost twenty years and at the same time a nationally and internationally recognized painter and teacher – recalls Anna Ravoni, Mayor of Fiesole. The idea of promoting an initiative dedicated to him, to be carried out in collaboration with the Academy of Fine Arts of Florence, was born in us not from a commemorative intent, but rather from the desire to bring to light the point of union between the various plans of his activity, to reflect on it, to understand what can be drawn from it. Because it is precisely this point of conjunction that explains the reason for the tireless work carried out by Farulli as a cultural organizer, with which he brought back to the territory the experiences and everything that he personally collected over the course of his life.”

Having quickly overcome his twentieth-century beginnings, Farulli’s artistic career began immediately after the war, when he founded, together with Gualtiero Nativi and Vinicio Berti, the Arte d’Oggi group, similar to the Milanese MAC and the Roman Forma 1, standard bearer of the reasons of what will later be known as classical abstractionism.

From the early 1950s, once this experience was archived, Farulli’s painting took on a tone strongly oriented – also in a political sense – towards the theme of industrial production, the factory, work, a fundamental prerequisite for the arrival in the early 1960s of a new declination of realism, which in 1961 will lead to the establishment of the group Il Pro ed il Contro, where Ugo Attardi, Ennio Calabria, Alberto Gianquinto, Piero Guccione, Renzo Vespignani, the architect Carlo Ajmonino, the director Elio Petri, and the critics act together with Farulli Antonio Del Guercio, Dario Micacchi and Duilio Morosini.

The comparison initiated by Fernando Farulli with the international art scene starts, in particular, from the exhibitions held in the USA. at the Manhattan Gallery in Pasadena – respectively in 1960, curated by Joyce Kautz, and in 1966, curated by May Brodbeck – as well as from his German experience, which began as set designer and costume designer for the world premiere of Luigi Dallapiccola’s Opera Odysseus/Ulysses at the Deutsche Oper Berlin (1968) and developed, above all, in the two solo exhibitions, also held in Berlin at the Rathaus Kreuzberg in 1970, as part of the Berliner Festwochen, and in 1972.

The activity carried out by the painter as a cultural organizer and promoter should not be read separately from the artistic work, but rather reiterates the social, ethical and political value that informs Farulli’s work and explains his strong belief that the arts play a decisive role in growth path of the individual and the community. A statement formulated by Farulli in the periodical “Fiesole Democratica” of 1964 can be taken as a guideline for this aspect. “We know that on our path to culture there is always the man who lives and works, suffers and rejoices , to which in committed research we want to give, and can give, a truer sense of freedom and justice, in the redemption of the human condition”.

For Farulli, art, culture and music are not mere professionalism or specialist skills, but rather vehicles for living in a conscious, constructive way of community, with a view to a continuous increase in “freedom and justice”. Art, culture, music are therefore not isolated from society, domains in their own right closed in their linguistic particularisms, but rather vectors of community progress, of conscious and inclusive participation of an entire community.

“The section hosted at the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence – comments President Carlo Sisi – focused above all on large-scale paintings, intends to allude to Farulli’s didactic profile, so to speak, that extraordinary ability to communicate through painting a constant trust in progress of civilization and in the role that the arts must assume in the growth path of the individual.”

The exhibition, open to the public from 5 July to 17 September, is hosted by the Sala del Basolato and the Sala Costantini of the Municipality of Fiesole, as well as by the Sala Ghiberti of the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence, and is divided into 35 paintings, in way to represent – albeit in extreme synthesis – the entire path taken by Farulli in painting, respecting, as far as space allows, chronology.

The exhibition, curated by Marco Pierini, is accompanied by a volume published by Gli Ori di Pistoia with contributions by Maria Alberti, Mariia Shevchenko, Carlo Falciani, Costanza Neve.

Two collateral events took place in the Sala del Basolato in Fiesole, which accompanied the exhibition: 13 July, Philosophy and Painting, meeting with Luca Farulli and Ubaldo Fadini; on 25 July, Fernando Farulli and teaching, meeting with Adriano Bimbi and Umberto Bisi, former students of Farulli and teachers of painting.

The finissage, the final event of the exhibition, is set for Friday 15 September. From 4.00pm to 6.00pm, in the Sala del Cenacolo, stimulating conferences and interventions on Fernando Farulli will be held, organized in collaboration with the Academy of Drawing Arts. A moment of in-depth analysis where we will have the honor of listening to former students and teachers, who will share their perspectives and their wealth of knowledge on Farulli’s works and art. This will be followed by the presentation of the volume Fernando Farulli (1923-1997) published by Gli Ori di Pistoia, a precious complement to the understanding of the rich artistic production of this extraordinary talent, and which will be introduced by Carlo Sisi, President of the Academy of Fine Arts of Florence , and by Anna Ravoni, Mayor of the Municipality of Firesole.

Subsequently, in the suggestive setting of the Ghiberti Room, from 6.00 pm to 7.00 pm, the final ceremony of the exhibition will take place. It will be a moment of institutional greetings, in the presence of representatives and eminent personalities of local institutions.