For Carlo Guarnieri, wood engraving is not just the etching of a figure on a piece of wood that will then be inked and impressed on paper by a press – no, for the maestro, it is a spark of poetry that touches the soul of every artist and reveals the tormented vitality that exists in the wood, the mysterious nature of an audacious material that, at flashes, gives us a glimpse of the secret of the Universe.
Dante tirreno – 1921 - legno di filo, 60 x 49
After meeting D’Annunzio, who was in competition with Maestro De Carolis, in 1921 Guarnieri produced a series of engravings including Dante Alighieri, called “Dante Tirreno” as opposed to the one produced by De Carolis, entitled “Dante Adriatico”.
Displayed at Palazzo Benci during the Second National Art Expo in 1930, it was greatly appreciated by D’Annunzio who said it was “splendid both in its lines and impression”
GRAPHICS - Studies and sketches
PAINTING – 1st period
The 1st period (from 1907 until 1930) was an extremely successful one in which there are echoes of a symbolist education from his apprenticeship with De Carolis, the floral period of contacts with D’Annunzio and the mythopoeic irrationalism in the first decade of the century. The purity of the faintly traced lines, the barely toned down, subdued chromatics, used on just a few elements, the pale tenderness of the flesh, the poise and composure of the figures, the gentleness of the faces, the docile controcanto of the backgrounds to accommodate the figural motif give the image a serene, at times mournful, at others vaguely metaphysical, atmosphere. Beyond reality but remaining within the phenomenal datum.
PAINTING – 2nd period
His style changes: Guarnieri, excellent drawer, as can clearly be seen in his sketches, sanguines and soft and nuanced charcoals in which he proves to be a painter with outstanding technique – his expressive confidence knows no bounds – discovers the plasticity of colour, the substance of pictorial material.
PAINTING – 3rd period
At the end of the Second World War, Guarnieri reverted to an approach similar to that of the 1st period. This is his third period: still retiring, detached from the movements of the time (Concretism, Realism), as he would also be from subsequent trends.
The third period, built on the previous brush strokes, is more rooted in poetry, in the landscapes where the volumes once again repeat the material, relating a deeply felt palette.
And his still lifes, like mementos of pure love: plasticism that becomes almost fleshy, less graphic and more materialised, reflecting on the subject.