Tiger (1958) by Antonio LigabueFondazione & Archivio Antonio Ligabue di Parma
For Ligabue, drawing is a completely separate and distinct means of expression from pictorial production. Even if we find the same subjects, these have other outcomes, they are never sketches, preparatory studies or rewrites of the canvases.
He drew by pressing hard with the pencil on the paper, a reason that made drypoint congenial to him. The sign is not always clean, but highly expressive, rough even in adhering to the urgency of the conception, awkward but structural, with sometimes plastic results.
Fight for hunger (1951) by Antonio LigabueFondazione & Archivio Antonio Ligabue di Parma
The design is more aimed at defining the masses and volumes than the atmospheres, more attentive to rendering the immediacy of the design than to redefining the figures and environments. This is evident even in the more complex compositions such as in The Struggle for Hunger.
An angular sign that clots and tangles in an apparently confused disorder of lines drawn in one go, without regrets, which in the end render the plasticity of a mane, the perspective of a jungle, of a land full of herbs and dark threats.
Self-portrait (1955) by Antonio LigabueFondazione & Archivio Antonio Ligabue di Parma
Self-portraits are often characterized by the accentuation of deformations, by a strong characterization. In a few strokes Ligabue manages to render psychological situations and emotions without ever falling into caricature.
Ligabue pays particular attention to clothing. While he often solves his face with a few but intense strokes, the pencil runs to define the jacket (in this case the leather biker one), the shirt, the hat ...
This attention to clothing detail almost seems to want to restore or give the character himself the dignity and consideration he believes should be recognized by the people.
Bison fight (1954) by Antonio LigabueFondazione & Archivio Antonio Ligabue di Parma
From 1958 to 1962 Ligabue created a large series of drypoints on copper or zinc. The drypoint allows an immediate relationship between the artist's conception and the means of reproduction, an almost physical relationship, made up of deep signs dug with the lively force of the hand.
Boar (1959) by Antonio LigabueFondazione & Archivio Antonio Ligabue di Parma
Ligabue dug the plate with the burin, engraving deep and direct marks on the metal that leave the "beards" at the edges, fragments of copper or zinc that give the print an effect of fading ink, of velvety lines.
Often Ligabue signed the plate directly, obtaining, in the print, a specular effect, which he did not take into account, interested as he was in the pure fact of drawing and not in the rendering in print, which did not involve him.
The subjects are those dear to Ligabue in the last period of his life: wild animals, dogs, self-portraits...the same ones that we find in the drawings and paintings; however they are proposed in an autonomous reinvention.