Manuele Cerutti

La Fiducia in Dio (VII), 2017

Oil on Linen

57 × 38 cm

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Manuele Cerutti’s preferred subjects are the objects that populate ordinary life. In the context of his figurative paintings, items sourced from the home or the studio appear as distinct characters instilled with life. Cerutti accesses and emphasises the inherent attributes of common items that often go unnoticed, giving them form in the esteemed form and rich hues of oil on linen.

In La Fiducia in Dio, Faith in God, Cerutti presents a stately depiction of a metallic propeller, accessorised with a strategically placed strip of tape; this adornment serves to situate the propellor in a vertical stance. Cerutti is attuned to the interplay present between objects, and he presents the tape as a central aspect of his composition in order to denote this relationship. Working in his studio, Cerutti presents this arrangement alone against a sombre beige backdrop, divesting these object of a greater context for consideration. In de-contextualising these items, Manuele Cerutti allows them to function and impart meaning independent of external associations or connotations. Rendered in rich tones by Cerutti’s painterly hand, this portrait of unassuming objects appears as an enriched depiction of a bronze sculpture, a metaphor for higher thoughts.

the artist

Manuele Cerutti (b. 1976) is an Italian painter graduated from the Accademia Albertina di Belle Arti, Turin. His works has featured in numerous institutional exhibitions, including at the Wilhelm Hack Museum and Stadtmuseum Oldenburg in Germany, the Italian Cultural Institute in London and the GAM in Torino. In 2004 he was awarded the Illy Present Future prize. He currently lives and works in Turin. Manuele Cerutti's paintings are located at the intersection between the history of art, and the artist’s will of rediscovering the object’s essence, taking its pictorial representation as a springboard for further reflection. Stones, bones and scraps of metal, collected by the artist over the years, rest dormant in his studio, until the moment they turn from inert shapes into works of art on his canvases. Taken out of their original context, these ‘actors’ sit for the artist in compositions that are always on the border between balance and precariousness. The artist adopts clean lines and a thin layer technique, in order to create a dialectic relationship between different moments of his narrative. He considers the error, the pentimento as integral to the accomplishment of an artwork. His paintings call to mind stratigraphy; where amongst different layers it is possible to discern evanescent presences in his paintings. Often, such presences are human subjects portrayed in the act of supporting, or contemplating the object – the real focus towards which the whole composition points. In Cerutti’s oeuvre, even car mirrors are divested of all conventional attributes determined by their function, in order to experiment new unstable relationships with space. In the context of his works, roles are subverted: the human being does not emerge as a protagonist anymore, it is rather the object that reclaims its status as a peer to Man. The artist leads the viewer to modify their perception towards daily life elements, which too often pass unnoticed. Although Manuele Cerutti's structures might seem comparable to the tradition of still-life painting, the difference between them is radical: the artist confers a subjectivity to forms that are traditionally inert, that are considered mere ob-jecta. Such subjectivity turns them into protagonists which should be interpreted on the same level as any other social actor.

Cerutti’s oil paintings depict objects in a way that is more reminiscent of portraiture than still life. Humble, inconspicuous objects that belong to the artist, which were forgotten and then repurposed as a means for exploring a more universal set of values, become the sitters for these unlikely portraits.

Manuele Cerutti
on Artuner

Part of the

May 3rd, 2018 until
May 31st, 2018
Curated by ARTUNER