aligi sassu

catalogue of the works
Natalia Sassu Suarez Ferri
Fondazione Aligi Sassu

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PRESENTATION Critical essay catalogue of the works Information

The artist writes about his renowned passion for horses in his autobiography, Un grido di colore: "There were in Sardinia red and black horses, amber-coloured and sauros, piebald, moor and even green: yes, of green horses said a story, that told of the Saracen incursions up to the green land of Chilivani. In the fantasy of storytelling, the green flag of Mohammed had turned into a tumultuous Burdock of horsemen and horses of the same colour, hordes thrown into robberies, into sacking the people of the island. And to my eyes - as probably to the eyes of the other young people - the horses were not those tired animals of the lonely shepherds anymore, the ones going back home in the golden light of the sunset. Instead, they were nervous horses, with tails as whipping as a whisp and with restless manes, that Andrea Ninniri, the blacksmith poet of Thiesi, used to shoe in his black and smokey cavern, lightened up at intervals by flames and sparks". (Sassu, 1998)
All the landscapes in which horses are featured are identifiable in Mallorca, where Sassu found a new Sardinia in the colours and the light of the Mediterranean. The artist will make of this island a second home since the Sixties until his death, which happens in his house in Mallorca.
Sassu often associates horses with historic battles and mythological scenes, he inserts them in his landscapes and even with his Uomini rossi. In Cavallino impennato and Demofonte, the fact that the little horse is identified with the famous horse of Alexander the Great and the man with the famous king of Athens, allows him to give both paintings a halo of myth.
But in painting horses, besides an autobiographic root, there is a lot of Sassu's admiration for Delacroix: "In my case, where does this passion for fighting that allows me to translate an idea in painting come from? I do not think it comes from a school, especially because I doubt that schools really exist and I think, instead, that the strong men from the past have opened some paths and closed them afterwards with their passing. And then? I would say that I am what I am for my personality and culture, like many others. In the morning, when I start working, I have an anxiety inside to measure myself with the matter; and since a few years ago this anxiety is increased by a reproduction of a Delacroix, which I keep in full view in my studio: that Delacroix who appeared in the art scene almost as a historic necessity in painting."
(Sassu, 1998)


Il cavallino impennato, 1958

Cavallo e marina, 1964


Cavalli di spuma, 1972

Cavalli di fuoco, 1978

 Quattro cavalli, 1987


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