With the Youth Exhibition opened in Naples at the end of 1909, the so-called Secession of the Twenty-three started by a group of brave young artists, including Curcio.
This was his beginning exhibition, in which he stands out to the attention of the public and critics, especially for his female portraits.
The female portrait became one of his favourite themes and also the one where he began to experiment since 1911-12, the day after his return from Paris, the great innovations inherited from Impressionism: i.e. the interference between colours and the use of coloured shadows.
Two mannerisms of the painter were to create variants, sometimes even more than one, of his most important paintings and to hide the real subjects of the painting behind vague and sometimes misleading titles.
Curcio also begins to opt for square formats derived directly from the Viennese Secession