1929 - The painter Oscar Alitta was born in Turin, January 9, child of Francesco and Anna Martelli. From his very first years, he demonstrates an inclination for drawing: his notebooks during elementary school underline a didactic direction of the drafts as they illustrate the topics.
1940 - His father, for working reasons, moves with the family to Florence. The young Alitta is exposed to the art of this city, meeting the greatest Italian teachers. However, what most touches his artistic sensibility is the brightness of the Tuscany landscape. He discovers colour and begins to paint small oil pictures. Times of war, hard years, terrible for the rage of the bombardments, the proximity of the front; his father is transferred to the new factories built in the moors of Bellinzago, Province of Novara.
Therefore, the family finds itself in Galliate, guest of his mother’s cousin. Oscar carries on with his studies in Novara, dedicated to brief foreshortening of the country that observes during the daily trips.
1950 - While doing his military service in Rome, he resumes drawing and visiting the artwork by artists of the capital city. On a train journey to Turin, he meets an artist who, after having seen Alitta’s sketches and drawings, recommends him to continue to draw.
At the end of the military service, he starts to reproduce other artists’ artwork. Big paintings, they give evidence -yet among family friends- of his passion for painting. He makes research of ‘still life’ exploring the watercolour technique.
He carries on drawing landscapes of Turin suburbs. Farmhouses, caves of gravel, and the vegetation in contrast with the grey smoke coming out of chimneys attract his eyes. Farmhouses, countryside and churches on hills and mountains are now among his topics.
1955 - He marries Edda Daidone. During his leisure, he draws alone or with a colleague and friend, Marcello Marchi, starting pictures in "outdoor", trying impressionism, using the palette knives.
He takes part in exhibitions as painter and photographer. He receives then the first recognition and prizes.
1958 - In June he becomes father of Riccardo. During these years, he participates in contests and collective exhibitions.
1964 - He moves to Argentina due to a contract to work there. His passion for painting is recognized the Teacher José Malanca from Còrdoba (Argentina). Appreciating his sketches, Malanca teaches Alitta the use of colour: only three colours remain in his box, the others are scattered on the meadow. "These are useful says the Teacher, the others, not! In this way, he carried out his first walk exit with Malanca, who explained him the importance of the three fundamental colours: crimson, yellow and blue. The white and the black are not colours. The Teacher told him that all we see is absorbed in the blue -dominant of the sky-, which with its reflexes determines the colouring in the landscape.
Alitta starts then his true artistic expression with landscapes on canvas, with the company of the Teacher. Argentinean and foreign collectors visiting Còrdoba have acquired many of these paintings.
1970 - Returning to Turin, he participates again in shows and contests of paintings, among which is the First Triennial from Naples and a contest called ‘La Stanza Letteraria" in Rome where he is recognition. Some canvas is acquired by Mr. Mosso, dealer and owner of art galleries, who later sells this canvas in an Auction in Venice. The art edition "ll Quadrato" in Milan, 1971, issues a brief artistic profile and the first quotations of Alitta. During these years, he meets often the painter Romano Carré.
1971 -The trace left from the experience in Argentina is expressed in a new pictorial cycle: it is the period of astral landscapes. His imagination makes him leave the contamination of our civilization, acquiring the form of the desolate worlds, abstract and surreal; this is the period, which will be defined by Alitta as SurFanta".
It is not a brain search of solitude, but rather the way of feeling nature. We perceive a marvelled spirit. More than pictorial search, it is a search of the spirit; it is the figurative expression of an existential experience: the impact of the spirit with the most unusual reality of the infinite that surrounds us.
This artwork represents spiritual cycles of birth and death. The subject that composes his worlds seems to extend to new aggregations for the formation of other universes.
1973 - Alitta moves due to a new job in Kenya. The landscapes of the Rift Valley enrich his paintings with new and bright colours. The enormous skies, bright and loaded with clouds, forms fill the small pictures that remain -like a testimony- in ownership to the family. At the request of a missionary priest, he paints an ascending Christ in the new church built in Gil-Gil.
1975 - At the end of the contract in Kenya, he returns to Rivoli. An insurance agent invites Alitta picture’s show in his office building. More than thirty paintings with rural and mountain topics are displayed to an interested public and the first appreciations appears in a newspaper of the province. A number of personal expositions and art critics draw attention to Alitta’s paintings.
The presence of an isolated element, typical constant that does not ever appear less in the varied periods of the operational production, often takes the central position in Alitta’s picture. It points out fidelity to certain permanent convictions, almost a belief in some human perennial values. It expresses harmony, equilibrium; and where this central element is absent; the landscape often has a sense of abandonment, of cold depression. The presence of the desolate country, the sun finding its way among the trees, the evanescent backgrounds, the abandoned houses, the farmhouses and the remote churches, betray the need of being inhabited and warmed by the human being. In the abandoned roads, in fact, people are part of the landscape also, and are not alive. The big space reserved for the sky remains void.
In this period, it is noticeable a more nervous painting, more improvised that knows how to gather the time of liberation; the oppression of the loneliness is less felt. Nature is not felt as shelter, but as a place to live in. Unfortunately, in the personal file of Alitta, the majority of the photos are in black and white, and they will be best appreciated observing the treatment that creates their design. The critic José Leva wrote a brief article on the ~Rocciame1one, in March 1975:
No need to go back to the many interpretations of his art and to all of what has been said and written about it, placing Alitta among the most valued contemporary artist operating in Piedrnont. His landscapes, his vastness, his rhythmic chromatics, which makes distant milieus, appear dose and alive.
His is a painter of nature, a nature reinvented by a rare sensibility; even the least noticeable elements come to life in his works, giving to the painting a wholeness of unusually effective expressively. Josè Leva
Contemporarily, a note of art of the Professor G. G. Massara reads:
After spending extended times in other continents he translates his Piedrnont Valleys’ landscapes into lively tones of colour, contrasting purple skies to bare trees which branches seem to take roots into empty spaces, or by letting old Country houses stick out from the middle of land fields greenery to be surrounded by innumerable green tonalities... Now and then the chromatic effects are surrealistic, probably induced by the painter’s memory of Argentinean sunsets of fire, or from his days spent in African lands: Alitta transposes insofar the scenery through violent contrast of colour relieved by the sky’s immensity.
In April 1975, he receives the pleasant request to send the documentation to the Kunsthistorsches Institut in Florenz (File for Italian Artist of 1900), in order for Alitta to be inserted as a contemporary artist.
1976 - In January, Joseph Nasillo writes on "Borsa d’Arte’:
"His compositions are inspired with a happy vein towards the landscape, contributing to render a tone of restful atmosphere to whom observes it. In Alitta’s work, there is, even, a gust of freshness and liberty coming from each formalism that makes pages of ample and restful breath.
After a mini-show, Giuseppe Marchisa writes:
"Landscape painter with an outstanding baggage of artistic experience, he presents a choice of landscapes in small formats, of valuable execution, in which are displayed the typical colours of his expressive world. A real landscape translated with application and feeling that this production doesn’t deny."
For the "personal exhibition" in the Comune di Val della Torre (Turin), you can read on the leaflet edited by the Commune:
Oscar Alitta: Poet of the Nature
Oscar Alitta has gone round half the world, from his native Piedmont, to Argentina. Africa. It would not be difficult to define him as a bohemian, who has now settled down at the entrance of the Val di Susa, ready to depart again, as earth is burning under his feet. We would say ‘n&, that he is not a bohemian, that his desire to go round the world is due to a need to meet new people, situations, different realities: for him, reality Is only one, Nature. It is the Val di Susa, where the meadows have a delicate tonality of green where mountains, in the twilight, are covered in a violets colour which appears to surge like sap from the veins of the rock where the trees are always very tall, growing towards the sky, either in the boundless Argentinean ‘pampas’ with the stubble burnt by the Sun, and where the idea of liberty can only be entered by the idea of fear; or in the stony plateaus of Kenya, where sun and sky are so dose that you can reach them with your own hand.
If you ask him whether it Is true that in Africa the skies are clear, he will answer that they are the same as here: transparency is more a virtue of whoever looks, than a quality of the sky of certain place. There is some nostalgia from Argentina; his many memories of Argentina clearly show it, and some of his paintings of the ranchos, too. There has been a parenthesis in his life, lived with intensity and this is why the nostalgia is stronger. There, in Argentina, he met José Malanca, who has taught him the use of the colours that now are his colours: crimson. blue and yellow. He uses white colour for mixtures, but he knows how to create the immense range of tonalities with these three colours.
Now Alitta, each day, with his tools, is in constant search of a dawn or twilight. His choice falls, above all, on the woods, and dips them between the yellow and the violet, and the clouds are not negative, they do not imply a storm, but wisdom. For our artist, trees are a symbol of life, of optimism and so he paints them tall, slender, almost like a connection between earth and sky. Nature, to the eyes of the artist, Is so beautiful that recreates the fable-reality of the terrestrial Paradise. Snow Is something nice not only for children, but also for Artists, and Oscar Alitta knows how to recreate it with his touches of blue and of crimson on the candid meadows, bringing forth a landscape of dream. Does he really want lo leave again, or is it his way of saying, an ambitious assertion?
It is true that he likes the Langhe, above all, for the yellow and the red of the autumn leaves, at the end of October, that constitute a delicious bite for the eyes of the artist. Therefore, now he often runs lo La Morra, to Barolo, to Verduno, in order to complete his daily "theft", and to have a chat with a Nature that is always different, and is always the same. His are, above all, epidermal impressions, or is it anything else?
We can say that Alitta really knows how to create for the reader an atmosphere of peace, of serenity, a transparency that only who owns it can communicate it to his next. This is because his paintings are something more than the fruit of an impression they are the mirrors of Nature, recreated by the artist in his ingenuous candour, in his true human honesty. It is logical that it brings about communication, a thought friendship, and a font of goodness.
He has seen immense, sharp and tall summits from lowlands; you could assert that he has abandoned his greatest love in order to create surreal landscapes, like "The Island in Space" (defined by Alitta as his own psychic self-portrait).
We would assert that Nature is who triumphs. In his long journeys, he has really seen landscapes of this kind.
This surrealist invasion that confirms his big love for Nature and always sings a hymn to Joy, to the clear and pure thins that gush out from his mind. During many centuries, dawn arid sunset have inspired poets and painters, and particularly have inspired our "Poet of Nature ".
Turin, 5 January 1976 A. Spinardi
1979 - On October 26, at the GC Gallery in Rivoli, he exposes a new pictorial cycle denominated by the artist as "Man, Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow". It is a success, of public and criticism. Private buyers and collectors appreciate and acquire his paintings; only two paintings will remain in the family: one for his wife and the other one for his son. In the local paper, we read the presentation of the professor V. Daidone, which follows:
Through a chromatic dosage of his fantastic and unreal boundless skies, he transports onto the canvas the infinite sensations of the human soul. Like an always-fixed leading role, the impersonal human shape, seeks any light in the dark, alternating in the waiting joy with fear.
These scenarios with infinite sequences give us spiritual sensations, already calculated and settled until the last day of life. The message that the artist communicates is an escape to his usual codes of communication, different from his preceding artistic production. Now he has chosen a path, which we are lo searching in our unconscious. To be able to understand this message, we need lo put ourselves in the length of the wave of the painter.
We need to assimilate the "Pathos", which the artist was feeling, in front the half-hidden sphere that comes from the endless "Ab aeterno". Each of these spheres represents -from the artist’s point of view- a question mark, uncertainty, distress, and a true and permanent challenge for the rational human being. The panoramic vision of the destiny stays in this way closed over a determined angle. The subjective vision discloses such values like a dynamic entity. This entity jerks the human being between the big and the small one, between past and present, between space and time, between eternity and destiny: humanity incessantly and passively absorbed in an unlimited space, disenchanted observer of the necessary law of the things
On the "Nuovo Rocciamelone", November 1979, Giuseppe Marchisa wrote: "This exposition of the artist from Rivoli~ though a utile bit cosmopolitan his stays in South America and Africa were not brief they mark a mm in his artistic itinerary. Now it seems O. Alitta has said the last goodbye to the traditional landscape that once was his most cherished, but in which some unreality was frequent, and which, afterwards, could appear as a preparatory stage towards a different goal. Then, this exposition explains how much troubled was the mind of the author, who saw the need for more active intervention, a more immediate partner of a human-social situation, more and more tense to dose to itself oppressed by thousands of fears.
Alitta’s presentations want to be an invitation more than a warning. Il seems to be non-catastrophic, from his artwork, to be our own thoughts. On the contrary, some eschatological aspects can -at first sight- be recognized in them; it is a slight ear pulling, not afraid that confidence is present in the human being.
In that island, wandering in the ether where men shelter; but I would say more, they try to invite other men, all of them, to forget the past that is still present, to create a new simpler society, with brotherhood and without trauma?’
On ‘PAN ART’, a monthly cultural publication, the criticism of Aldo Albani reads: "The most recent pictorial invention of O. Alitta, deep in psychological meaning and hardly circumscribed, charges against the fire of all the roads known, rich in artistic knowledge, conceptual by premonitory inspiration.
From the past, the figurative methodology already shows the choice made al that time; Alitta reaches, in fact, a naturai renovation, undoubtedly protected and connected to the finality of the purely analytical search; where reactive introspection and the human potential of the expressive pagination support and give vividness to the omnipresence of the chromatic light, fairly and realistically extended with a sharp instrumentation.
Dosing the instinctive impulse, Alitta capsizes the metaphysic presence: and here the mystery of the appeal gathered in open ‘spacialism’, to the absolute gasp of liberty.
The rational formulation, generated from the chromatic ascents and pulsating capitulation of the temporary geometry, and now the atavistic is needed, an optimal measure, in the idealistic context of the life itself’.
1980 - He receives from Dr. Gunter Meissner, of the Thieme-Becker Kunsterlexikon of Lipsia (Germany), the request to complete a forni for his name to be inserted in the General Dictionary of Artists to be published soon after (see Volume II).
1982-1983 - In two College of the Province of Turin, Alitta teaches design and painting. These are free courses for young students who wish to deepen their knowledge and experience art.
1984 - Once more, adventure, the wish for something "new" attracts Alitta: England. He moves to London with his wife. The festive days take place in Green Park; with other Artists Alitta exposes his paintings: small pictures and sketches, to tourists that wish to take home a souvenir of their joumey. Alitta has to return to landscapes, promising to himself to prepare, as soon as possible, a second series that will be the continuation of the eschatologic. A series of designs and sketches accumulates, springing out of his mind.
There it starts a friendship with painters: Stanley Cunnigharn from Blackbum, David Duffy from Dublin and Diaz Carlos from Cuzco (Peru). He takes part in a contest from the G.L.C. and inserts his work in Cultural Centre.
1985 - On invitation, he enrols as a partner of the "Free Painters & Sculptors"... What a disappointment such experience! Stanley Cunnigham, in the Commune of Blackburn, organizes a personal exposition of Alitta’s work, favourably received by the public.
1988 - Alitta enters a "Community Program" for the execution of murals in some hospitals in London North. During this project, he makes friend with the Basque-Spanish painter Carlos Aguirre. Together, they carry out murals of 30 square meters that represent Mediterranean Sea landscapes.
1989 - He takes part in the ‘Multicultural Spring Festival" in Barnet College. The painter meets the Iranian Bidarbakht and together expose their works at the Plaza Hotel, Bayswater, West of London.
1990-1992 - By means of galleries and private collectors, he sells around thirty paintings, which were painted during the trips to Cornwall, Wales, Lincolnshire, Hampshire and the New Forest.
In the house of the Grizzly couple, he goes on with the murals. He experiences electronic design with computer, defining these jobs as "electrodrawings."
1994 - Alitta is invited to teach painting in the centre for elderly "Age Concerti" of East Finchley; they appreciate his lessons of watercolour
1996-1998 - Alitta moves to Bedfordshire. He performs landscapes that he will sell in Italy. His hope is to be able to carry out the big canvas from the studies that have remained ‘asleep in the drawer during so many years. He undergoes a cardiac operation at the beginning of year 1998. During that year, he prepares a trip to Italy.
1999 - Alitta and his wife go to Rivoli for three months, from June to September. There, he paints more than ten cloths; a part of his dream has come true. These paintings attracted great interest when presented in preview to critics and collectors, which encourages Alitta to continue with the psycho-metaphysical theme of ‘The Mari Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow’. Big white canvas now receives the strokes of his brush. He is member of the Art Society of Leighton Buzzard.
2000 - In January have showed the new works in Bedford at English Authority on invitation in the Italian Vice-Consulate.
In February him is present at the Art Exhibition in All Saint Church. In July open a virtual permanent exhibition on the "218ac" Gallery. Stefano Torre writes this presentation:
«The painter Oscar Alitta lives and works in Leighton Buzzard, in the county of Bedfordshire, England.
Born in Turin in 1929 he has lived in his own native city, and in Florence, where it started the maturation of his artistic vein. The desire of always-new landscapes and stimuli took him Io Argentina. There he has lived 6 years, from 1964 to 1970. In 1984, he moved with his wife Edda lo England, where they still live.
Undoubtedly, Oscar Alitta, already from his biography, appears to be a not very common person. His trips as well his frequent contact with people from the artistic environment and from different cultures, show us his eagerness to discover new scenarios, his desire not to stop his own artistic and cultural growth and improve his own ability to interpret life and the world.
All that, apart from the unquestionable technical competence, makes him an Art Master of planetary greatness.
The 218ac suggests to make a personal exhibition with his recent work~, the bright and strong colours surrealists, a set of productions that comes from an idea and a production from 1979:
34 canvas that the Maestro introduced at Rivoli, Turin, in a persona! exhibition, which were sold in only four days. Such a success was followed by years of elaboration and careful consideration and growth. During those years, he had studied and made the sketches of the pictures that only recently, Oscar Alitta has painted, and they were only a part of his art studies.
Psycho-unreal canvases, absurd in the reality of the sketch and yet able of transmit their disarming message. That is then the nature of the man, his imprisoned struggle in the thin line between the earth and the sky, his eagerness for freedom and space. It is not by chance that the human figure is in the centre of those pictures: an image, stylised, reduced in dimension, monochrome. The Maestro devotes his attention Io the background, to the scenery in which the action takes place. He devotes his attention to the sky, painted with such minuteness that it almost exasperates the contrast between the reality and the dream, between the reality and the paint, between the fatigue of existing and the transcendent lightness of a man that has overcome the barrier between the earth and the sky; of a man that has learned to measure his own distance from. the stars, and has become an inhabitant of the cosmos, of his infinite spaces and silences, but who has not lost the awareness of himself and his own nature.
Systematic and distinctive is -in these works- the entry of the light from the left top corner and seems to be on the point of flooding the cloth, in the same way in which the rising sun invades the night. It is a warm reassuring light, perceived not only with the eye, but also with the body, as an electric current wind in a tactile feeling of an embrace. It is the light of an outside star and his own voice~ the voice of the cosmos telling the man about his own nature.
Il is this peculiar light the goal of the Alitta’s elaboration, which he suggests Io us on our own nature, a difficult goal but a coherent effort: the man could see the light because he needs it, and it is what encourages the perennial search of what many call ‘transcendence’. Something mystical that, without interfering with religion, could represent and give sense to our life. »
September - Alitta is present in Turin. In the "Palazzina Liberty" a special exhibition organized of the Unione Gruppi Anziani FIAT.
2001 - January - Open a new Web Page on Internet dedicate at here Elektro Draw (Digital art).
In March receive an invitation for the Biennale Internationale dell’Arte Contemporanea in Florence (December 2001)
April – Enter in permanent exhibition at the virtual Gallery ArtMecca, San Francisco (USA) with 18 canvas.
May - Receive an invitation for The International Exibition in Monza (Italy) and Special Contest in Montreal (Canada)
June – Request to send my CV and Biography for the Chicago Athenaum Museum for a portfolio for show my artwork.
September – Open Studio every Sunday
November & December – Exhibitions in local Galleries
2002 – February – Preparation for printing the digital landscapes for Limited Edition in A3 Plus
April & May - Exhibition in local galleries and send on-request copies of prints the digital works
Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz
Archive of the Italian Art of the 1900
General Dictionary of Artists
VEB E.A. Seemann Verlag
PSF 846, LIEPZIG Germany
Big Dictionary of the ITALIAIN CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS Italy
Academy of the Arts - Italian Contemporary Painters and Sculptors
CIDAC- Cesena (FO)
Painters and contemporary painting
Editions Il Quadrato "- Milan
L’almanacco del calzolaio 1976
Echo of Modem Art- Florence
Newspapers and Magazines have published articles and critiques.Many personal expositions in Italy and in the foreign countries. Prizes and signals awarded
Up-date May 2002