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His attention to the figure and to color led Sassu to create his series of red men. In 1929-30 the role of protagonist of his canvases is taken by the same figures whom we find in his interpretations of the contemporary urban landscape painted at the same time.

Men rolling dice, soccer players, Dioscuri, Argonauts, cyclists, all are distinguished by the color red: a deliberately antinaturalistic choice that placed him in open opposition to Novecento chromatic tendencies and that conservative critics saw as debatable excess, for which Futurist experimentation was no longer an excuse since Sassu had by then moved away from it.

In reality this solution must be seen as a continuation of that search for the modern which came to him precisely from the Futurist group: in pictures like Man and City Outskirts, Apparitions, The Blue Horse the brief, synthesized passages of landscape have just those colors of the outskirts of Milan which the artist saw all around him.


The blue Horse

Elements of affinity with his research can be found in that of Giacomo Manzł, for example in Manzł’s relief Uomo e donna shown at the 1930 exhibition in Galleria Pesaro, in which Sassu also participated, and of Renato Birolli, who later, in one of his Taccuini, recalling the climate of that time, wrote of "crimson men on sulphurous ground bleached by the sun and shadowless." Starting with these early figures, in numerous variations, the image of the red men would become recurrent in Sassu’s paintings.