Guido Aloise is a painter. The good soul of Vasari, perhaps, would not have said one word more or one less. A painter – and it seems to me a lot – since it can be said of few artists. His paintings are like the dreams of Baudelaire, who asked women to be “beautiful and sad”, but a beauty that captivates and a sadness that subjugates, the yellows blend with the greens, figures have a meaning that recalls centuries of passion and suffering of all humanity, the compositions are complete and finished, just “finished”, as the good soul of Vasari said. All of this is very beautiful. We are left with a doubt. Are we close to a painter, or a poet? Or to a philosopher, who is also a money order painter and poet without knowing it?
Ettore della Giovanna, 1976
The axis of Aloise’s artistic production rotates – according to me – around two poles: the tormenting memory of his childhood, the surprising intuition of a metaphysical way that he expresses well while remaining anchored to the truth, to the reality of all men, not of a caste, of an elite. Whatever the theme, there is no painting that leaves us perplexed, that is not immediately intelligible, that does not evoke emotions pervaded by poetic sweetness and sentimental abandonment or charge instead of the drama and pathos that derive from a sensitivity and training all southern.
Marco Raviart, 29 october 1977
I am not an art critic, I am a writer, so I lack the consummate ability to exalt or crush or say nothing with hundreds of words; I can simply tell a tiny plot and impressions. So, the afternoon of this May ’81 was done. Crazy smoky traffic of this Rome ’81. I had to go and meet Guido anyway. I was left with a vehicle at my disposal. Buses jammed, a free taxi not even dreaming of it, all stuffed with cream, squirming beyond me. The only way I had left: my feet. I walked the Flaminio, Piazza del Popolo, pressed by the crowds, buffered by the microphones at the convention: a nightmare. In the end I walked down Via Margutta, until 83/A. My nightmare was over, but beyond the threshold of 83/A there was Guido’s nightmare: the first painting, ahead of the others in line on the walls, at Guido Aloise’s staff. In this pictorial nightmare, Guido appears upset and serene at the same time; the hooded figures on the sides of the hall of the ancient castle push him without even touching him, towards an exit, the liberation that is not visible but exists: it must be looked for on the other works, path after path. The doubts, the anguish and, at the centre of it all, the question about God and Christ, are the path. The Son of Man is portrayed in profile, in perspective, from behind, on the cross and not on the cross. But he is present in Spirit everywhere, as in the painting of the fishing: the miraculous evangelical catch in a modern tone, magnet in its anatomical and expressive postures. Christ, source of peace and life. From this source springs the whole range of evocative colours, regulated by a very careful brush that during the thoughtful, hard work of portraying the existential mystery can also afford the habit of placing on the canvas the likenesses of very sweet female creatures: the painter finds there a fragile respite. At sunset, I leave the gallery and manage to grab a bus. Bumps, broken traffic lights and all the rest. No matter. I went to see Guido and I saw him. A Calabrian artist who, strangely enough, doesn’t paint Calabria. He preferred the much larger and more fascinating region of the human soul: for better or for worse, in joy or sadness.
Sepp D’Amore, 1981
The journey in the painting of Guido Aloise (1925-1986) to analyze the data of his life may seem divisive. On one hand, the daily life with the perennial youth in the body and in the vision. On the other, the pursuit of painting. Those who have known him, those who remember him, place the figure of Guido Aloise in the balance between a man who was interested in living and a man whose primary aim to exist was to be an artist. For this distraction in some phases of his career as a painter, his posthumous portrait does not have the connotations of the man who suffers from art and, as a backlash, not even the connotations of the artist who decided to sacrifice the fullness of life to the presumed asceticism necessary to make art. This beginning has no intention of diminishing to present Guido Aloise’s painting in this posthumous catalogue. On the contrary, we would like to make it clear that we are dealing with a painter who did not want to push his vocation and interest in affirming his work to the bottom of the possibilities. He was not disenchanted. He was not disillusioned with the hard life between galleries and critics. He was not even disinterested. Just a man and an artist of clear loyalty, because there is also loyalty by calculation, in front of a cultural situation full of doubts and traps in which his existence of work has developed.
Giuseppe Selvaggi, 1989