At the end of the 1970’s, Assisi and Subiaco, no longer offered a suitable environment for the life and work of a man who was beginning to feel the passage of time. Again, thanks to his friend Paolo, he found a new place to live and to work in Gudo Gambaredo, in the countryside outside Milan, in the annex to a Benedictine monastery, known as Cascinazza. His deteriorating health put an end to his travels, depriving him of a lifelong source of inspiration.
Confined in the ‘amorphous sadness of Lombardy’, painting was the one thing Congdon could hold onto when everything else had been taken away. Unexpectedly, two years later, Lombardy’s ‘sad’ land gave rise to a period of intense work.
The obvious changes in Congdon’s painting seemed for the first time to have taken the artist himself by surprise. The vast fields of color painted in those years seem a long way from his earlier paintings. But they somehow re-interpreted and surpassed those earlier ones, opening up new horizons.Italian and European critics began looking at his work again and wrote some important essays on his art, which in the meanwhile was undergoing profound transformations. The art world started looking with curiosity at the “Congdon case”, the case of an artist who had been through so many personal and professional changes.