Sculptor Fred Carasso in Print Room

Fred Carasso
A Sculptor’s Works on Paper

27 August – 20 November 2011

The Italian artist Fred Carasso (1899-1969) spent his last thirty-five years in the Netherlands. He achieved recognition principally as a sculptor, but he was also a passionate draughtsman. This autumn Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen is exhibiting a selection of his works on paper.

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen recently received a large part of the Italian-Dutch sculptor Fred Carasso’s works on paper on long-term loan. This autumn the print room is presenting more than forty drawings, collages and gouaches by the artist. The selection is complemented by several small sculptures. The works on paper are extremely diverse in style and technique and demonstrate the artist’s great adaptability and empathy. Carasso’s social vision is a recurring element in his extensive oeuvre.
 
A Sculptor’s Works on Paper
In the Netherlands Fred Carasso was best known for his monumental public sculptures, including the National Monument to the Merchant Navy, known as ‘The Prow’ (1957-1965), on the River Maas in Rotterdam. Some of his works on paper are preparatory studies for his sculptures, but the majority are works in their own right. Drawing gave him the freedom to experiment with forms and styles.
 
Political engagement
Fred Carasso, born Federico Antonio Carasso, fled his native Italy in 1922 to escape the emerging fascism. In subsequent years his politics forced him to move several times within Europe. Carasso’s drawings provided a vehicle for his critical view of society. Hypocrisy, social inequality and injustice are recurring themes. Sometimes his critiques have a humorous quality, others are more disturbing.

Stylistic diversity
Carasso’s drawings show the influence of various artistic movements including Dada, Surrealism, and Russian Constructivism. They display the remarkable ease with which Carasso combined a variety of techniques and methods: his oeuvre includes collages inspired by Pop art, brightly coloured gouaches and detailed ink drawings. The deployment of a wide range of styles and techniques allowed Carasso to depict the world in his own unique way.

 

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