Manuele Cerutti

Ritratto di Eroe (XV), 2016

Oil on Linen

65 × 50 cm

Interested in purchasing this work?


Additional Information

Accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.

We offer collectors a range of shipping options including a variety of specialist art couriers.
Please allow four to six weeks for the artwork to arrive after purchase.


In Manuele Cerutti’s Ritratto di Eroe (XV), the way the depth of the bottle’s shadow is rendered draws a parallel with Istruttoria, in which a man’s silhouette is cast on the wall, to almost eerie effect. Both works are equally atmospheric. They depict small theatres of the mundane. Objects acquire a personality and thus become objects of curiosity and intrigue in their own right: the still life Ritratto di Eroe (XV) grabs our attention precisely for its peculiar aspect: the baguette defies gravity, erect on a cloth, leaning against a bottle oddly not quite its size. One cannot help but perceive these inanimate objects outside of their usual context: here they seem ethereal – the bottle’s shadow incites our imagination: is that a nose, a face? Dare one say, a human profile? Cerutti indeed toys with our perception, painting snapshots of a reality beyond what we take for granted. These objects encapsulate a life of their own. Far from still, they are rife with hints and clues to stranger personalities – a hidden dynamic which Cerutti seeks to grasp and zoom in on, observe, and thus draw us in too.

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

November 2nd, 2017 until
December 29th, 2017
Curated by ARTUNER