Using bibliographical and documentary sources, this volume is the first to draw up a profile of the art publisher, writer and dealer Gualtieri di San Lazzaro (1904-1974). With his multifaceted activity, San Lazzaro was a crucial figure in artistic relations between Italy and France in his day. Shorty after moving to Paris in 1924, San Lazzaro started editing the art and literature journal Chroniques du jour in 1925, soon adding the art publishing business with the same title, with which he brought out quality monographs about Picasso, Matisse, Marino Marini and others. In 1938, he established a new publication entitled XXe Siècle, investing it with his reputation. This prestigious magazine was illustrated with original graphic works by such maestros as Arp, Laurens, Miró, Moore, Marini and Magnelli, although the first version of the magazine only lasted until 1939. When publication was revived after the war, in 1951, it maintained the character of a quality edition, but devoted each issue to a monographic topic of contemporary art, so that it ended up occupying a position midway between the distinct arrays of abstract art at work in France. As a result, the magazine became an invaluable vehicle for information, with a more accentuated international scope than other contemporary French publications. Without any clashing of cymbals or beating of drums, space was provided here both for Magnelli’s geometric abstraction and for Tapié’s art autre, but also for artists from outside France, such as Marino, Capogrossi and Moore. What San Lazzaro, who later liked to say that he had preferred to spend his life collecting his friendships with artists rather than their works, recognised in all these widely different forms of art was the common denominator of an unconditioned expressiveness of individual freedom, against all forms of totalitarianism. Yet at the same time he also defended the idea of producing a book that was in itself as beautiful to behold as a true work of art. In parallel with this, San Lazzaro also pursued his own literary ambitions, combining his vocation for narrative with his personal experience of the characters that populated the Parisian art scene and the events taking place there. This time, the result was his autobiographical novel Parigi era viva (Paris was Alive, Garzanti 1948, Mondadori 1966), a blend of the reasons for the art taking place in the city and that city’s own urban life, replete with anecdotes and first-hand descriptions of the artists in their individual contexts (Kandinsky’s studio, the visits paid by the author to Picasso, his conversations with Matisse and Magnelli and his misunderstandings with de Chirico). Whoever they were, San Lazzaro found they all espoused “that determination to show that colours are born from the brush, just as the words of every true author fall from the pen”.

Editore e scrittore d’arte, Gualtieri di San Lazzaro (Catania 1904- Parigi 1974) ha vissuto da testimone diretto la stagione più vivace dell’avanguardia artistica parigina, a cui ha dato, per un cinquantennio, il suo contributo attraverso l’editoria d’arte di pregio. Le edizioni «Chroniques du Jour» e la mitica rivista di lusso «XXe Siècle», da lui fondata nel 1938, ebbero un’incidenza non trascurabile sulla diffusione dell’arte francese e italiana, facendo del loro direttore una decisiva figura cerniera negli scambi fra i due versanti delle Alpi. Alle opere d’arte, scrisse, preferì collezionare l’amicizia degli artisti, divenendo sodale, se non intimo, di Picasso, Matisse, Chagall, Fontana e Capogrossi. Tutto questo trovava nella letteratura uno sbocco naturale: scrittore fine e acuto osservatore dei costumi, la sua attività letteraria restituisce una vivace testimonianza di quando, come recita il suo libro più famoso, Parigi era viva. Questo libro traccia per la prima volta la biografia intellettuale di San Lazzaro, restituendo la sinopia della fitta rete di rapporti intessuta con le sue due patrie (di nascita e d’adozione) che, disse, considerava due province della stessa nazione.

Gualtieri di San Lazzaro : scritti e incontri di un editore d'arte a Parigi / L.P. Nicoletti. - Macerata : Quodlibet, 2014. - ISBN 9788874626120.

Gualtieri di San Lazzaro : scritti e incontri di un editore d'arte a Parigi

L.P. Nicoletti
2014

Abstract

Editore e scrittore d’arte, Gualtieri di San Lazzaro (Catania 1904- Parigi 1974) ha vissuto da testimone diretto la stagione più vivace dell’avanguardia artistica parigina, a cui ha dato, per un cinquantennio, il suo contributo attraverso l’editoria d’arte di pregio. Le edizioni «Chroniques du Jour» e la mitica rivista di lusso «XXe Siècle», da lui fondata nel 1938, ebbero un’incidenza non trascurabile sulla diffusione dell’arte francese e italiana, facendo del loro direttore una decisiva figura cerniera negli scambi fra i due versanti delle Alpi. Alle opere d’arte, scrisse, preferì collezionare l’amicizia degli artisti, divenendo sodale, se non intimo, di Picasso, Matisse, Chagall, Fontana e Capogrossi. Tutto questo trovava nella letteratura uno sbocco naturale: scrittore fine e acuto osservatore dei costumi, la sua attività letteraria restituisce una vivace testimonianza di quando, come recita il suo libro più famoso, Parigi era viva. Questo libro traccia per la prima volta la biografia intellettuale di San Lazzaro, restituendo la sinopia della fitta rete di rapporti intessuta con le sue due patrie (di nascita e d’adozione) che, disse, considerava due province della stessa nazione.
Using bibliographical and documentary sources, this volume is the first to draw up a profile of the art publisher, writer and dealer Gualtieri di San Lazzaro (1904-1974). With his multifaceted activity, San Lazzaro was a crucial figure in artistic relations between Italy and France in his day. Shorty after moving to Paris in 1924, San Lazzaro started editing the art and literature journal Chroniques du jour in 1925, soon adding the art publishing business with the same title, with which he brought out quality monographs about Picasso, Matisse, Marino Marini and others. In 1938, he established a new publication entitled XXe Siècle, investing it with his reputation. This prestigious magazine was illustrated with original graphic works by such maestros as Arp, Laurens, Miró, Moore, Marini and Magnelli, although the first version of the magazine only lasted until 1939. When publication was revived after the war, in 1951, it maintained the character of a quality edition, but devoted each issue to a monographic topic of contemporary art, so that it ended up occupying a position midway between the distinct arrays of abstract art at work in France. As a result, the magazine became an invaluable vehicle for information, with a more accentuated international scope than other contemporary French publications. Without any clashing of cymbals or beating of drums, space was provided here both for Magnelli’s geometric abstraction and for Tapié’s art autre, but also for artists from outside France, such as Marino, Capogrossi and Moore. What San Lazzaro, who later liked to say that he had preferred to spend his life collecting his friendships with artists rather than their works, recognised in all these widely different forms of art was the common denominator of an unconditioned expressiveness of individual freedom, against all forms of totalitarianism. Yet at the same time he also defended the idea of producing a book that was in itself as beautiful to behold as a true work of art. In parallel with this, San Lazzaro also pursued his own literary ambitions, combining his vocation for narrative with his personal experience of the characters that populated the Parisian art scene and the events taking place there. This time, the result was his autobiographical novel Parigi era viva (Paris was Alive, Garzanti 1948, Mondadori 1966), a blend of the reasons for the art taking place in the city and that city’s own urban life, replete with anecdotes and first-hand descriptions of the artists in their individual contexts (Kandinsky’s studio, the visits paid by the author to Picasso, his conversations with Matisse and Magnelli and his misunderstandings with de Chirico). Whoever they were, San Lazzaro found they all espoused “that determination to show that colours are born from the brush, just as the words of every true author fall from the pen”.
Settore L-ART/03 - Storia dell'Arte Contemporanea
Settore L-ART/04 - Museologia e Critica Artistica e del Restauro
Gualtieri di San Lazzaro : scritti e incontri di un editore d'arte a Parigi / L.P. Nicoletti. - Macerata : Quodlibet, 2014. - ISBN 9788874626120.
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