By John Dunkelgrün
On a dark, cold, and wet December day, a large group of people had accepted the invitation of the Embassy of Italy and the Italian Cultural Institute in Amsterdam to the opening of a retrospective exhibition of works by the Italian artist Daniel Schinasi. Entering the beautiful large exposition hall of the Pulchri Foundation, the Mesdag Zaal, one felt that winter was gone and it was summer on the Mediterranean.
Schinasi (Alexandria, Egypt, 1933 – Nice, France, 2021) lived a significant part of his life in Nice, and it shows. His colors are bright, and most of his works show people happily doing what they are good at. The title of the exposition, “Un messaggio in movimento – A message in motion,” reflects Schinasi’s main focus, people in motion. Be they cyclists, swimmers, or dancers; the still paintings miraculously capture the power of movement. Schinasi is one of the prominent painters of the Neo-Futurist school, a school of painting that shows the dominance of Man over Machine, Man over the powers of nature, and Man over himself. Visiting this show may put some much-needed sunshine into your world during the coming dark days.
It is an extensive exposition, 45 works in all, among which a massive homage to the Cóte d’Azur (pictured). The exposition, which was curated by his daughter Sarah, is a rendering of his life in France, his admiration for Matisse and Chagall, and the influence of the Holocaust on the very soul of this Italian Jewish artist. His daughter Sarah is an internationally renowned (opera) stage director.
Paola Cordone, director of the Italian Cultural Institute, thanked Marieta Reijerkerk and Ed van der Kooy of Pulchri for their assistance in making this exposition possible. She then asked Ambassador Giorgio Novello, to speak the opening words.
James Bradburne, museologist and director of the Pinacoteca di Brera in Milan, had flown in, especially for the occasion, to deliver the keynote speech and was followed by Mr. Ermanno Tedeschi, President of the Museo Ceramica in Mondovì and long-time friend of the artist.
Sarah Schinasi and her mother Manuela were present, as was H.E. Konstantin Dimitrov, the ambassador of Bulgaria, and his wife, Nadia Dimitrova.