The art of Giovanni Truncellito introduces
us to a most particular neo-symbolist context, which can also pride itself for obliging
one to reflect on the role and operative space that Symbolism occupies in contemporary
That fat that things were different, and very different, from the general opinion of only
fifteen years ago; that is that the symbolist repertoire was, in effect, a conclusive
stage, and actually concluded by languages and aesthetic attitudes, is markedly and ever
increasingly confirmed by the interest shown in both historical research and operational
experiences, the latter mainly referring to young and very young artists.
The important exhibition in Venice a few years ago dedicated to Puvis de Chavannes,
revealed the exceptional influence that this artist had had on many "fathers of
modernity", and ideally sanctioned this new perspective of criticism.
However - it was still a fundamental argumentation in a historiographical sense.
Truncellito is one of those artists (in no means isolated) who extract the earthly
significance from Symbolism for their own ideas and then consequently re-propose it in a
present day context.
For Truncellito the classical myth, and also contemporary myths have assumed an important
role (think of the role, due to him being a music lover, that Maria Callas has had in his
paintings, being an ideal and tangible go-between for the Ellade of classicism).
Gods (Pan), heroes (Guerriero Rosso), mythological characters (Orfeo, Ganimede, Medea,
Alceste), Ellade and the Magna Grecia (Jonio, Sibari, Crotone), are alive in his
paintings, and even though they are filtered through the screen of the great classic
literature, they do not appear as a pretext for literature.
Who can be considered as painting references for Truncellito?. Definitely Böcklin, as can
be seen in the subject and title of a picture: Risveglio (Aurora a Villa Böcklin). Even
more explicitly Gustave Moreau and he who may consider himself the most stimulating of his
students - Odilon Redon. And not the noir Redon, famous for his lithographic and charcoal
works, a fascinating but at the same time disquieting anticipator with a surreal
repertoire, and neither the Renon famous for portraits, distinguished by a compound
measure and control which seems to lead to Dégas, but he, the painter of sudden,
incandescent chromatic deflagration.
I would say, in fact, that it is the chromatic deflagration, assuming exasperated
rainfalls of glowing gold, - that in Truncellito's pictures have the role of underlining
the difference between the other dimension of the myth and that of the ordinary rhythm of
a phenomena style reality - that forms the most remarkable characteristic, and personal
note of the roman artist.
Among the references of Truncellito however, two Metaphysic Dioscuri, Giorgio de Chirico
and Alberto Savinio must be noted. It is through their intercession (it is significant
that in the compositions of our artist there is no trace of cruel surreal distortions, but
rather unsettling estrangements), that Trucellito revisits the contemporary themed
architecture, which de Chirico had ingeniously prefigured in his well know Piazze
The architecture which Muzio, Picentini and their followers had designed without any
deliberate reference to the de Chirico style paintings which had preceded them twenty
years earlier, but more as the result of a shared basis of style (concentrating on the
simplification noted in the classic references); or more clearly the post-modern
architecture, - deliberately - half a century later took inspiration from both the
"painted" and "constructed" Metaphysic architecture.
And so the explicit matrix of paintings Algida voce, Il bel canto, Interludi.
Neither is one marvelled by such a strong and motivated architectural interest; it also
due to a professional motivation, as Truncellito is not only an artist but also an
I consider moreover that this architectural attitude is also evident in other works and
particulars, as in certain mountain ranges that Truncellito depicts in his paintings
(Medea) with a linguistic ability of a theatrical backdrop.
Carlo Fabrizio Carli