Home Artists Dady Orsi

Kooness

Dady Orsi

1917 - 2003
Genova, Italy

32 Works exhibited on Kooness

Represented by

Works by Dady Orsi

Volto Femminile

1978

70 x 50cm

Volto Femminile

1978

50 x 70cm

Nudo Femminile

1977

50 x 70cm

Nudo Femminile

1981

38 x 49cm

Nudo Femminile

1981

55.5 x 45cm

Nudo Femminile

1981

49.5 x 37.5cm

Nudo Femminile

1981

50 x 40cm

Nudo Femminile

1981

45 x 55cm

Nudo Femminile

1981

45 x 55cm

Nudo Femminile

1981

55 x 45cm

Nudo Femminile

1981

55 x 45cm

Nudo Femminile

1983

18.5 x 25.5cm

Nudo Femminile

1983

25.5 x 37cm

Nudo Femminile

1983

24.5 x 33.5cm

Figura Femminile

1982

21.5 x 34cm

Volto Femminile

1982

22 x 31.5cm

Nudo Femminile

1982

25.5 x 14cm

The theme of Eros pervades Dady Orsi’s work. In his vast production of female nudes, the artist reveals the other side of the bourgeois woman who, like the Maja desnuda, is depicted in all her seductive power. Even at its most extreme, Orsi’s eroticism is never prosaic: his preferred type is that of the sophisticated woman, with noble features, who seduces with natural poses. Techniques and materials are varied: the works on canvas and wood, always in tempera, tend to be painted in a defined manner and with a greasier paint, those on paper see the use of a technique made up of discontinuous signs, in which pastel and gouache create plots of light and transparent signs. As far as image processing is concerned, Orsi uses a variety of approaches: he draws from memory, uses models but does not disdain the use of photographic images. The nude made its first sporadic appearance in some drawings and paintings from the 1940s. Still reluctant to exhibit these works, in the 1960s he increasingly devoted himself to the female nude. It was only from the 1970s onwards that there was an explosion of erotic paintings. The moment was propitious: the theme ceased to be taboo in mass culture. The first exhibition of nudes was held in 1975 at the Galleria Mainieri. The works exhibited revealed an exquisitely realistic eroticism that clashed with the then predominant tendencies of the representation of the female body, which were more critical and intellectual. These were the years in which the international artistic debate questioned whether eroticism had a right to citizenship or should be relegated to the sphere of pornography. Orsi shows what the public wants to see, but what culture does not consider to be innovative. At the end of the 1970s, when the erotic art of Lautrec, Klimt and Schiele had not yet attracted mainstream interest, Orsi produced monumental series of drawings (and engravings) representing women in explicit poses. In representing the perturbing side of the woman of his time, the artist revisits the manner and style of his illustrious models.

In the 1970s, afer having abandoned graphic design, Orsi returned to being a full-time painter, regularly exhibiting his work. Nevertheless, his return to art was characterised by freedom: he did not adhere to currents or groups. His language was characterised by realism, symbolism and a return to craftsmanship that only a few artists practised at the time. His painting is cultured but not intellectual. It was Beppe Mainieri who provided him the opportunity to present his Feminine nudes. This is the moment when the artistic debate raises the question of whether female eroticism, no longer perceived by mass culture as taboo, is released from the sphere of pornography. Orsi’s female nudes heralded an utterly realistic eroticism in contrast to the hitherto predominant trends in the representation of the female body. Executed from the second half of the 1970s onwards, these paintings show what the public wants to see, but what culture does not consider innovative.

The 1980s opened with the exhibition, again at Fornasetti’s, of the ‘lunar’ cycle Nuda in dodici quadri  - Naked in twelve pictures. This pictorial cycle is the result of the encounter between two apparently incompatible sources: Muybridge’s chrono photography and Holbein’s symbolic realism. In contrast with the languid erotic pastels in the twelve figures marble pallor that make up this monumental work, Raffaele Carrieri glimpses the paradoxical eroticism of chastity.

 

Short bio

Born in Genoa in 1917, Dady Orsi spent his childhood in Venice. In 1934 he moved to Lombardy where he studied at the Brera Academy. A painter by vocation, after World War II he devoted himself to graphics and illustration. He applied his creativity to practically any artistic technique, also experimenting in the field of applied arts. He is an artist who explores the multiple possibilities of figuration in a context where such research is a minority, if not countercultural. His productivity and vitality participate in the spirit that characterises Milan in the period from post-war reconstruction to the end of the 1990s. Involved in the Milanese artistic and literary milieu, he was a close friend of Federico Patellani and Piero Fornasetti, but his regular acquaintances also included Eugenio Montale, Alfonso Gatto, Raffaele Carrieri, Salvatore Quasimodo, Lucio Fontana, Ennio Morlotti and many others. From the 1970s he has been associated with personalities such as Philippe Daverio, Jean Blanchaert and the poet Miro Silvera. Starting from that period he exhibited in prestigious Milanese art galleries. Linked to the Ligurian village of Bonassola, his buen retiro in his last years, he died after a brief illness in 2003.