The exhibition is curated by Prof. Paola Ballesi, professor of Aesthetics, and former Director of the Academy of Fine Arts of Macerata, in Italy. Prof. Ballesi wrote of the work of Luigi Di Sarro after meeting him in the mid- 1970s, before his untimely death on 24 February 1979. On 2 March, Prof. Ballesi gave a public lecture on the life and works of Luigi Di Sarro, at the Merensky Library auditorium on Hatfield campus.

During the lecture, Prof. Ballesi spoke of influences on Luigi Di Sarro’s works, his life, his education and some of the wisdom he left behind.

Although Di Sarro died at the age of 37, the art he left behind is extensive. His drawings number in the thousands, and the sculptures in the exhibition are only eight of approximately 80 that are known to exist.

The works of Di Sarro left a big footprint on the artistic movements of the 1960s in Italy, as they amplified and interpreted the ethics of the time. His artworks hold many similarities to Eduardo Villa, the artist whom the museum is named after. Both artists were of Italian origin and their sculptures were of a metal medium. However, where Villa preferred bronze, and his work was large and heavy, Di Sarro used iron rods and wood, and his work was minimalistic and light in nature.

The exhibition was the result of a collaboration between the University and the Cultural Institution of the Italian embassy. Prof. Theo van Wyk, Director of UP Arts stated “It is a fantastic collaboration and a significant one. Two juxtaposed artists, Italian artists, with very different divergent trajectories in art work, yet there is a link between the two. To build on that relationship on a different point of view, European and African, it is a good way for international collaboration between the University and the Italian Institution.”

The exhibition will be at the university from 2 March until 18 May, it will then travel to Europe and be on display at various other galleries. In a quote shared with Perdeby by Alessandra Di Sarro, Luigi Di Sarro’s niece, she recalls her uncle writing in Italian, “I was born to go into the world, to breathe love, to see the light, to touch the earth.”


Image provided/ promotional artwork