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EDOARDO SANGUINETI. The Face of the Poet

  • Event
  • Exhibition
  • 7 December 2022 - 19 February 2023

Curated by Clara Allasia and Federico Sanguineti

In collaboration with the Università degli Studi di Torino, Department of Humanities, Centro Studi Interuniversitario Edoardo Sanguineti

GAM of Turin dedicates to Edoardo Sanguinet i— poet, director, novelist, screenwriter, translator, literary critic, playwright, actor, songwriter, university professor, politician, refined intellectual, and one of the greatest protagonists and interpreters of contemporaneity—an exhibition at the Wunderkammerthat hosts various works, including some portraits, which his artist friends made of this grand poet. Celebrating this master is part of SanguiNetwork: ritratto del secolo breve, a project of major national interest promoted by the Centro Interuniversitario Edoardo Sanguineti in the Department of Humanitiesat the Università degli Studi di Torino.

The exhibition aims to reconstruct, through a selection of works from the rich private collection of the Sanguineti family, the enduring friendships and fruitful collaborations of the poet and intellectual with some of the most illustrious artists during his lifetime. The relationship can be fully revealed just by looking at the many pages Sanguineti devoted to the art world: among the images and the literary words, for the author there exists a deep bond that reveals the Face of the Poet.

For Sanguineti «the historicity of the language, for its very conceptuality, entails awareness [...] Today, if savage painting and maybe even savage music can exist, savage writing cannot.» If at times it is art that draws inspiration from his verses and his prose, in other cases it is the writer who dedicates poems and scholarly pages to his artist friends. And also, if the poet’s signature often appears in the presentations of exhibition catalogues, in other cases artists illustrate his collections of poems, thereby confirming an intense intermediary dialogue and incessant experimentation that represent the essential qualities of Sanguineti’s research.

This exhibition offers a reflection on the extreme malleability of wordsthat may come into contact with different media but remain the fundamental element in calling upon history, culture, and especially art in the reality surrounding us.

On exhibit are over 40 works made by artists including Emilio Vedova, Enrico Baj, Pietro Cascella, Ugo Nespolo, Carol Rama, each accompanied by one of Sanguineti’s writings that evoke his close friendship and fraternity with these artists. These include extracts of essays, poems, sonnets but also curious and amusing puns based on the names of the artists.

For example, for Carol Rama he wrote: «I like to imagine . . . that Carol egregiously represents the case of the artist who shivers with terrified awe when faced with the first materialization of her own deepest imagination, and at length examines, in laborious exorcism, how to cool it down, to circumvent it, to launch it—neutralized—into a chain of equivalent solutions made controllable and tolerable.»


Edoardo Sanguineti was born in Genoa in 1930. In 1934 he moved with his parents to Turin. Albino Galvano, his professor at the Liceo d’Azeglio, rekindled his interest in figurative arts and urged him to befriend, starting in the 1950s, the most important members of the avant-garde (Enrico Baj, Carol Rama, Mario Persico, and others), later becoming a critic and divulger of their works as well as a passionate collector. In 1954 he married Luciana Garabello, and they had four children: Federico, Alessandro, Michele, and Giulia. In 1956 he debuted as a poet with Laborintus and presented his dissertation with Giovanni Getto in Italian literature, Interpretazione di Malebolge, published in 1961, after a major revision. In the early 1960s he became Getto’s volunteer assistant, began collaborating with Luciano Berio, and was included by Alfredo Giuliani in the anthology I Novissimi. In 1963 he took part in forming the Gruppo 63 and began teaching at the Università di Torino, where he was forced to leave for a teaching post in Salerno, where he would remain for four years before returning to Genoa. Between the 1960s and 1980s he was a prolific journalist; at the same time he entered politics as City Councilman in Genoa for the Italian Communist Party and was a Member of the Italian Chamber of Deputies (independent party). Sanguineti never tired of experimenting modes of expression and communication practices: over the following years he traveled across Europe and the world, continuing his literary career with constant openness toward art and media. He passed away in 2010 in Genoa.

On the occasion of the exhibition a catalogue published by Silvana editoriale will gather scholarly essays by the curators, and a foreword by the Director of GAM.


Edoardo Sanguineti nasce a Genova nel 1930. Nel 1934 si trasferisce con i genitori a Torino. L’incontro con Albino Galvano, suo docente al Liceo d’Azeglio, ravviva i suoi interessi per le arti figurative e lo spinge a frequentare, dagli anni 50, i più importanti rappresentanti dell’avanguardia (Enrico Baj, Carol Rama e Mario Persico, tra gli altri), dei cui lavori diviene critico e divulgatore, oltre che appassionato collezionista. Nel 1954 sposa Luciana Garabello, da cui avrà i figli Federico, Alessandro, Michele e Giulia. Nel 1956 esordisce come poeta con Laborintus e discute con Giovanni Getto la tesi di laurea in LettereInterpretazione di Malebolge, pubblicata nel 1961, dopo un’importante revisione. Nei primi anni 60 diventa assistente volontario di Getto, inaugura la collaborazione con Luciano Berio e viene incluso da Alfredo Giuliani nell'antologiaI Novissimi. Nel 1963 partecipa all’istituzione del Gruppo 63 e consegue la libera docenza all’Università di Torino, da cui è costretto ad allontanarsi per trasferirsi sulla cattedra di Salerno, dove resterà per quattro anni prima di tornare a Genova. Tra gli anni 60 e 80 avvia un’intensa attività giornalistica, dedicandosi parallelamente alla politica come consigliere comunale a Genova per il PCI e Deputato alla Camera nelle liste degli indipendenti. Sanguineti non si stanca mai di sperimentare modi espressivi e pratiche comunicative: negli anni successivi viaggia per l’Europa e per il mondo, proseguendo la carriera letteraria con una costante apertura nei confronti delle arti e dei media. Muore nel 2010 a Genova.