The book Franco Leidi: Return is published on the occasion of the retrospective and first exhibition of the artist Franco Leidi in Italy. Born in 1933 in Milan and grown up in Genova, Leidi emigrated to Sweden in the 1970s, where he became an established artist. He never exhibited his work in his country of birth during his lifetime. The work of Franco Leidi, a self- declared communist who was profoundly influenced by his childhood experiences of World War II in fascist Italy, evolves from drawing, print and watercolour into sculpture and installation. While his late works – portraits in watercolour, often combined with collage – offer a complex iconographic reference system, his early production is characterized by multi-layered representations of power and oppression: men, women, furniture and tools are trapped in a hermetic system, in which they struggle against and exert violence upon one another. The erotic fantasies of a male subject, physical exercise and the simple beauty of a dialogue determine the play of these figures and objects; sometimes it is about life and death, sometimes about the banal being together.
Franco Leidi: Return takes the artist’s posthumous homecoming as an opportunity to examine his work through the lens of the present day and show its relevance to the current political and cultural context. Besides numerous black/white and colour images, the publication includes a foreword by Verena Buttmann and texts by Viana Conti, Leslie Johnson and Jörgen Svensson.
Editors: Verena Buttmann, Leslie Johnson
Text: Verena Buttmann, Viana Conti, Leslie Johnson, Jorgen Svensson
Design: Studio Yannick Nuss
21 x 29,7 cm
120 black-white and 25 colour illustrations
Edition of 500