Netta Vespignani, exuberant and cheerful. Art teacher

Netta Vespignani, exuberant and cheerful. Art teacher
Netta Vespignani, exuberant and cheerful. Art teacher

The painter and gallery owner passed away on Wednesday, after a life of civil and artistic commitment, which went through the upheavals of the left at the end of the 1960s.

Wednesday Duccio Trombadori wrote that she was dead Netta Vespignani. Perhaps there will never be a history of the relations between the new left since the late 1960s and artists, of painting, sculpture, cinema, literature, theater. Many have died, and have left only a few pieces of their memories. The artists wanted to participate in that upheaval, at times they had waited and anticipated it, or even simply did not want to be left behind, in the civil commitment as in the market. We, the would-be revolutionaries, had the main source of funding and cultural credit there. Then there was the market: works of art of great name and value passed through our hands, were sold out on the spot for the purchase price of flyer paper, buyers made fortunes.

In Rome, among the people who introduced us to the world of art, Netta Vespignani and Plinio De Martiis were particularly important. I frequented Netta, together with Michele Guidugli whom I felt saddened yesterday, at the time of the “Knave of Swords”, she was formidable, authoritative, frank, hastily generous. Beautiful in an almost brazen way, as Renzo Vespignani portrayed her countless times. Renzo’s welcome was as reserved as Guttuso’s was sensational, to say the two great names of Communists and alleged rivals. I came away with beautiful engravings by Renzo, who was himself a handsome man. I have of him only illustrations in books like those, splendid, for all the stories of Kafka, Feltrinelli 1957.

And a volume on the 1975 exhibition with the great cycle “Between two wars”: Italy and the world of marble rhetoric and the decay of human bodies, cities and houses, jackets. There, in an admirable text of historical and poetic intelligence, Vespignani wrote an exemplary sentence of his discretion towards committed zeal: “I had to reread D’Annunzio too much to risk singing the flight of a Nike, even if it was a working-class Nike “.

Netta was exuberant and cheerful, she had things to do and we too, she got to the point. We had mutual friends, Moravia, Pasolini, some of his artists became our friends, Schifano, Tano Festa and above all, for me, Franco Angeli, and then Kounellis and, all his life, Enrico Castellani. Then Netta would have worked with passion and depth on his archive of the twentieth century, of the Roman School, on the new gallery in via del Babuino, on the enterprises that Duccio Trombadori recalled yesterday with emotion. Duccio says that he has had little news of it for years, that she had withdrawn into herself. News that abruptly amazes those who keep that bright and impetuous memory. The amazement does not last, after all: there is silence.

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