Still life is a theme that Baldessari has practiced little, but those few times with great craft, demonstrating his great technical ability, and his very high capacity for chromatic and volumetric synthesis.
Still life was perhaps the first field of experimentation to move then from the abstract period towards the futurist figuration. And it was however a completely new area for Baldessari, given that in his life ‘before’ Futurism, as a student of Ciardi, he was a painter of landscape and light.
This gallery shows the evolutionary path of this theme which at the beginning of 1916 saw the forms still broken by the Boccionian de-construction, but already timidly regaining their solidity, especially in the splendid sculpture (in fact an ‘assemblage’) of colored woods, Vaso di fiori (Flower pot), of 1916.
And besides his still lives go through the modalities of the Picassian papier-collées, filtered at the beginning through the work of Soffici who had introduced their use in the Florentine area.
But certainly this is the area in which Boccioni’s influence comes out with more force, up into 1918, as confirmed by some paintings of flower pots, or fruit bowls, and above all the work Vaso di fiori + balcone (Flower pot + balcony), of 1917, which resumes the layout of La strada entra nella casa (The street enters the house), by Boccioni, replacing the woman overlooking the balcony with a vase of flowers.
An exception is the ‘heavy’ painting Bottiglie + Luci (Bottles + lights), datable at the end of 1918, which in its full-bodied structure of matter and almost obscure in the color scheme, already heralds a certain idea of ’return to order’, to concreteness, to the solidity of the image after its destruction with the fury of the avant-gardes.