|Meanwhile the debate on neorealism was raging.
There had been the meeting in Bologna of the leftwing artists,
the communists above all. Lucatello had seen Pizzinato starting out
as an abstract painter and returning to being a neorealist. The theory
was fascinating, and even the results, if for no other reason than
because each artist arrives there from different experiences. Lucatello
paints some very large format convasses: the cucumber gatherer, the
peasant resting, the man on strike. He goes to see the ricereapers
girls in the fields of Vercelli, but manages to feel at home only
using charcoal and making the portraits of young and exhuberant faces,
longing for life, in which one has to recognise, not so much the exploitation
as the rustic origins, and the healthy and full enjoyment of living.
Besides these there are the faces of older women, who for too long
have bent their backs until they touche their toes soaking in the
water, during the long hours of the harvest. Those resigned faces,
in which every feature of the expression has understood that very
old drama which year after year puts out the light of primordial hope.
But they remain drawings. In the few cases in which he translates
them onto canvas, because it is a question of translation, black and
white painting emerge, where the sign is more bitter and concedes
nothing but the essential.
He takes part in an expedition to Polesine organized by the Party
for artists in the area of Scardovari, where the floods has completely
disrupted the life of the poor. He is so upset that he decides to
go back there alone: about twenty days that constitute a turningpoint.
He lives in a rudimentary room, full of mosquitoes, but where there
is enough space to paint. A reality certainly not descriptive: landscapes
that become more and more material under skies, in contrast, planed,
red or white or yellow. He goes around Polesine in the shaking buses
and it is in that meeting space between the river and the sea that
his deltas are born, the curved inlets where water and
earth are contrasted: white and black and grey but sometimes even
black on black.