The exhibition is organized by the Palazzo Ducale Foundation for Culture and by CMS.Cultura, in collaboration with CONG-Hugo Pratt Art Properties.

Hugo Pratt da Genova ai mari del sud
October 14, 2021 – March 20, 2022
Palazzo Ducale, Genova

curated by Patrizia Zanotti

Corto Maltese was “born” in Genoa. Yet never before had his city paid homage to him. And so it goes where it all began.

The exhibition presents 200 original pieces including plates and watercolors, accompanied by an original multivision, a sort of Lantern to not lose ones way the course and immerse oneself in the stories of the most loved adventurer in Italy and beyond.

It was July 1967 when a new comic magazine was released on the newsstands. It was called Sgt. Kirk, it cost 500 lire and collected some of the most beautiful strips created by Hugo Pratt in his Argentine period. The publisher was from Genoa, Florenzo Ivaldi, and he had great admiration for Pratt. In addition to Sgt. Kirk’s story, Ivaldi’s magazine carried a new unpublished adventure: Una ballata del mare salato.

For this reason it seemed right to give the exhibition catalog the appearance of an imaginary new issue of Sgt. Kirk and, to pay homage to the many collectors and enthusiasts of this variegated “Mondo Pratt”, it was decided to publish an unpublished story for the ‘Europe, thanks to the Argentinian collectors Guillermo Parker and Aldo Pravia: La giustizia di Wahtee, published in Super Misterix in May 1955.

The rare tables from the Argentine period are also on display. But above all, it is Pratt’s imagination in its entirety that welcomes the visitor: seductive women, rebels, separatists, Indians, woods and prairies of the unforgettable atmospheres of Wheeling and Ticonderoga.

The readings of authors such as Kenneth Roberts, Fenimore Cooper, James Oliver Curwood, have transmitted to Pratt, through the descriptions of woods, prairies and rivers, a series of suggestions and landscape atmospheres that have helped him to create two legendary series among the most evocative of all his work: Wheeling and Ticonderoga. Even the artist’s last watercolor was dedicated to this world so loved from an early age. Already at the age of 5, the Pratt child filled whole sheets of drawings of Indians, impressed by the films he saw with his grandmother who always told him: “Draw what you saw at the cinema”.

There is a room entirely dedicated to Corto Maltese, a unique and emblematic character among all the heroes of comics, an icon of true travel whose image, always current, continues to arouse emotions in the imagination of old and new readers. This section does not pretend to represent all his adventures, but wants to convey an idea of the spirit of the character and his multiple facets that make him an icon of freedom, respect for different cultures and openness to others. In the last room there is an overview of all those to whom Pratt has given a name and who he has photographed in the style of a passport photo. Each of these, with a single glance, tells a story. The works of the four artists who have taken up and reinterpreted both the series of “Corto Maltese” and that of “Gli Scorpioni del deserto” follow.

TAG: Exhibition