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The English version of the Italian periodical “Metafisica” cast off its moorings two editions ago with the publication of a separate English language volume (n. 9/10, 2011 and 11/13, 2014). Today, it is increasing the range of material offered by presenting international readers with an unprecedented tool of research in the form of the English translation of de Chirico’s Commedia dell’arte moderna [The Comedy of Modern Art] (1945). This seminal collection of theoretical and critical articles written between 1918 and 1945 was published after the war signed with the duel authorship of Giorgio de Chirico (the true author of all the texts) and Isabella Far (his wife and future cofounder of the Foundation that carries on his legacy).
Paolo Picozza, President – Fondazione Giorgio e Isa de Chirico, Thirty Years of Safeguarding Giorgio de Chirico’s Art and Intellectual Work, in this periodical
The Comedy of Modern Art is a twofold self-portrait: of Giorgio de Chirico and of Giorgio de Chirico as Isabella Far. Giorgio de Chirico’s self-portrait consists of a collection of essays written by the artist in his role as art critic and is structured in two parts: as theoretician of his own oeuvre and of the work of artists his contemporaries, and as scholar of the Old Masters, whilst the self-portrait of de Chirico as Far unites texts published from 1942 to 1945 in addition to previously unpublished texts. In the volume, de Chirico delineates a treatise on art theory and on historical criticism, as the first half of the century comes to a close. […]
Thought defines itself in equilibrium with the history to which it turbulently belongs. Ideas pursue one another from one section to the other with a determined purpose: from a pessimistic judgment of the present (Nietzsche) to the reconstruction of the human being through the realignment of the hands to the intellect (he is an “active” nihilist). Metaphysical painting theory coexists in the volume along with a trial on the 20th century art system, which is seen as nothing other than an intellectual support platform for modern social and political ideologies. […]
The reawakening of art is aimed at the renewal of civilisation through art. Utopia? Yes, utopia. Utopia lies at the heart of all Metaphysical Art, that which the learned call “true”.
Jole de Sanna, Afterword to The Comedy of Modern Art, 2002