the centenary
20 November 2010 – 19 February 2011
Press release

The Galleria Guastalla Centro Arte, assisted by the Archivio Gentilini, Rome, presents an anthological exhibition of the artist Franco Gentilini on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of his birth, following the success of the great exhibition organized on the occasion of this event at the Museo della Permanente in Milan.


The exhibition will display 40 works including paintings, temperas, drawings, and graphic works by the artist from Faenza but Roman by adoption, who died in Rome in 1981. All the techniques used by Gentilini are represented, and the various themes: nudes, female faces, still lifes, cathedrals, New York bridges, cats, banquets, landscapes.


In the catalogue, where almost all the paintings in the exhibition are published, the temperas, drawings and lithographs published by Edizioni Graphis Arte, the scholar Laura Turco Liveri of the Gentilini Archive, in her introduction to the exhibition, asks: [. .] What is there in those dark corners, shaded by the moon? Why does Gentilini draw such long perspectives, almost excessive with respect to the centrality of the sunny beauty of his facades? Where does the artist want to lead us, on the edge of the drawing? Perhaps he wants us to arrive in the shadow of his cathedrals, in a large but secluded, secret space, where love, feeling, play, dreams, illusion pulsate. A space that sometimes takes over the compositional surface, opening a suspended, metaphysical reality to dreams. And perhaps it is no coincidence that his paintings are mainly placed on black sandy backgrounds.[..]


On display will be two rare paintings from the series of "Bridges of New York", which Gentilini executed, 12 in all, in 1959 on commission from the magazine "Fortune" of Chicago; Laura Turco Liveri always says about these paintings: "And if, in the Bridges, Gentilini's gesture is broad and, like that of a violinist who drags his bow along the strings, crosses the entire surface several times horizontally, at the the color rectangles or the vertical lines in sequence animate the rhythm, giving the impression of a continuous wavy movement that stops only in frontal perspective, as in the water of the river or in the little stars on the black sky in Triboro Bridge, or the trucks and the green dome at the bottom in Williamsburg Bridge. Indeed, it is no coincidence that, precisely for the Ponti series, Gentilini preferred the horizontal format, except in one painting, and that he further preferred to understand the entirety of the subject in length rather than in foreshortening, a view that would have slowed down the reading and changed the meaning”.

Gentilini remains an isolated and personal figure in his time, a unique personality: his enchanted cathedrals, his magical figures, his metaphysical still lifes, his affectionate cats make us dream of a fairy-tale world and transmit strong vital energy; perhaps this is why Gentilini has been so loved by writers and poets and has often illustrated their works.


The artist's wife Luciana Gentilini was present at the inauguration, who has always been involved in the promotion and archiving of her husband's works and the art historian Dr. Laura Turco Liveri who supports her in the archiving work.

Catalog show

ask for the catalog of the works at

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