The Italian Almanac

Michelangelo Antonioni

Italian Art - October 6

Fans of legendary Italian filmmaker Michelangelo Antonioni have the chance to see a different side of their idol over the next month thanks to a show spotlighting his recent art work. Antonioni, who turned 94 last Friday, has produced more than 400 pieces over the past four years, despite being partially paralysed and confined to a wheelchair.

The exhibition at Rome's Tempio di Adriano gallery showcases 112 of the maestro's most recent paintings and sculptures, all of which are up for sale. The paintings range from miniatures to large-scale acrylic works, their style passing from soft, hazy abstracts to brightly-coloured, defined geometric compositions.

Unable to paint unaided, Antonioni created the art with the help of two young assistants, Monica Dabbicco and Alessandra Giacinti. The assistants told reporters that Antonioni, who has painted all his life, outlines the images on canvas and that they colour them in afterwards following the directions he manages to give through gestures and eye movements.

Antonioni is regarded as one of the world's most important film-makers. He invented a unique cinematic language that defied plot-driven narrative and dialogue and inspired generations of directors the world over. He suffered a near-fatal stroke in 1985. He has never regained his speech and relies on his wife Enrica Fico to communicate on his behalf.