Alfredo Guttero (1882-1932)

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Guttero, Lazy Women

Lazy Women

Guttero, Portrait of Alberto

Portrait of Alberto

Alfredo Guttero was an Argentine artist born at the end of the 19th century who could not leave aside the Modernism that took place up until the first decade of the following century. This movement that was a combination between technique and art that appeared at the same time in different European countries and in the United States had many points of contact with regard to the style, in spite of different stands.

Probably Guttero was the Argentine plastic artist much more motivated to faithfully capture the Modernism techniques in his work, because Guttero could observe the evolution of this movement directly during his long stay in Europe between 1904 and 1927. Thus the drawings of his characters appear in static attitudes. Nevertheless the intention of initiating certain movements is also expressed, bringing them precisely to the kinetic thing. His work would then be identified with the participation in the cinema art of remarkable development since the end of the 19th century. These characters could be well observed in “Feria” (Fair)” Fair” or “La Feria” (The Fair) (1929). Also in his painting “Bathers or Florentine Bathers”(1925) where the movement is insinuated by the tracing of the waves as a slightly perceptible detail so as not to be immediately noticed. This picture specially remarks naturalism in the sensual attitudes of the bathers in full suits emphasizing realistic details like the wet clothes stuck on the rounded shapes of their bodies and the noticeable hair in the armpits of the women.

Guttero, The Announcement

The Announcement

Guttero, Ligure Baggers, 1926

Ligure Baggers, 1926

The portraits, specially men portraits (Guttero seems to be mostly interested in the masculine psychology), fully represent the melancholy. They are Fitzgerald-men, languid men with an ambiguous sexuality. When we analyze Lucien Cavarry’s portrait, we observe that the musician is leaned on an armchair, his cadaverous arms hanging inert like the needles of a clock stopped at nine thirty. The pink and violet color of his skin, and the deep circles around his eyes insinuate he might be ill. The strange white of his suit, between contamination and perversion, demonstrates that Guttero’s paintings with people using clothes are much more sexy than those of nude people. Also the portrait of Alberto Candioti, Argentine diplomatic in Italy,where Guttero paints the man in a boastful attitude, almost a metaphysical count. He uses a conceited black cap with the volume and the gravity of the mountains and a monocle that seems to muddy rather than to clarify his vision.

But with regard to women, the relation of Guttero with them is different. The artist tends to keep certain distance. Sometimes he paints them like sketches of his ideas, almost like molds or stereotypes; and sometimes Guttero shows them with an arrogant attitude like his “Georgelina”, with distrust mounted on the fallen eyelids, the black bow of her hat that becomes a way and the minimal smile of her lips.

Guttero, Florentine Bathers

Florentine Bathers

Guttero, Women facing the sea

Women facing the sea

The artist clearly identifies himself by using the colors imagined by us to represent the elements of technology of that time. This is evident in a series of landscapes of the twenties and the thirties. These landscapes show port zones with predominance of industrial buildings of impersonal architecture and other innovative elements of technology. The planes transmit a cold sensation with predominance of straight lines forming squared surfaces, with only the appearance of a solitary tree. An example is the “El Arroyo Vega” (1930) (“The Vega Creek”) for the exquisite and graceful composition of riders on celestial animals crossing upon the round arch bridge thus achieving a fantasy scene of “naive ” art which is not to be seen in other pieces of Guttero.

But Guttero is also the artist of textures. His paintings are made with oily pencil, oil, tempera and cooked plasters, this latter technique invented by the artist. This cooked plaster is a mixture of plaster paste and pigments joined with glue that the artist generally applied on wood panels.

Guttero, The boat on the river

The boat on the river

Guttero, Suburb

Suburb

Between 1927 and 1932, year of his sudden death, Alfredo Guttero took part in an intensively managed many exhibitions and other activities that dramatically impacted the Argentine cultural life. Besides he actively continued with the production and exhibition of works of art. In 1931 Guttero took part in the First Baltimore Pan-American Exhibition of Contemporary Paintings where he was awarded with the Museum of Art prize for his painting Annunciation ” (“The Announcement”). In 1932 Guttero achieved the First Municipal Prize with his work “Oda” (“The Ode”). He died when he was fifty years old.

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Guttero, Georgelina, 1915

Georgelina, 1915

Guttero, Venus of River Plate 1928

Venus of River Plate 1928

Guttero, Figure

Figure

Guttero, The Market

The Market

Guttero, Portrait of Lucien de Cavarry , 1911

Portrait of Lucien de Cavarry , 1911