THE CIRCUS AND THE GHOSTS
The Acrobat. 1944.
Very rare. Woodcut signed on the block by the artist, and on the lower margin, Manuscript by author: “To sweet and stubborn Hella. To be honest. S. Sergi ”, and signed "Sergio Sergi". Measures of the engraved field: 22.6 x 26.3 cm. (8.89 x 10.35 in.). Paper: 24.9 x 26.3cm. (9.8 x 10.35 in.). Copy mounted on a wooden support, with a small loss in the paper.
Surely we are before an artist’s proof; the final version has a white box on the sides (1); this one in particular was clipped on its margin left, a few millimeters, refining the artist's signature on the block, hardly affecting a couple of millimeters the integrity of the image. Referring to this series, the art critic Jorge López Anaya wrote: “He made works with subtle irony, rare. With that conception and with a manifest economy of means represented the trades (Photographer, Tamer, Astronomer, Acrobat ...) ”. (2) On the scene, Death stalks the tightrope walker before the cadaverous gaze of the public who witness the show in the stands of a circus.
In 1962 Emilio Ellena published a folder with Sergi's works -among them, “El acróbata”, with a circulation of fifty copies. This woodcut is the first to be reproduced in the catalog of the exhibition cited in note 1, held in 2012 by the Museum Castagnino + Macro in Rosario, indicating Sergi's real dimension as an artist and as a teacher: participated in the foundation of the School of Plastic Arts of the province and was its first director. In 2019 the National Museum of Engraving dedicated a exhibition "Sergio Sergi: the world comedy", curated by María José Herrera.
Sergio Hocevar (1896 - 1973), his real name, had been born in Trieste, at that time part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, today Italy. Trained at the Royal and Imperial Institute Graphic of Vienna, suffered a wound on the battlefront, in the First War World, experience that marked him for life. In 1927 he settled in Buenos Aires -worked in the advertising agency "Pum en el ojo" and is said that he has been one of the creators of the famous head of Geniol. A little later he moved to Santa Fe and in 1943 he arrived in the city of Mendoza -his final residence-, where he acted as teacher at the Academy of Fine Arts in Cuyo. Carlos Alonso was one of his students and disciple. He excelled in engraving and especially in woodcut.
1. Impreso en la Argentina. Recorridos de la gráfica social desde la colección del Museo Castagnino+Macro. Rosario, digital editions, 2012, p. 13.
2. Jorge López Anaya: Argentine art (Cuatro siglos de historia (1600 - 2000). Buenos aires, Emecé arte, 2005, p. 288/289.
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