Total eclipse of the art. An alternative museum experience by Luca Pozzi

Excluding the causes of force majeure, war or calamitous, in human memory there has been no blatant deprivation of local museum institutions since the times of the first modern wailings, when the taste prevailed over historical reason and the works were preserved for the enjoyment of a eager handful of lucky people. Deproved of a physical (and paying) public, the Museum has run copious critical issues, especially related to its identity. At the origin of many museum contexts, the decontextualization of the works and sometimes of the spaces was legitimized in the name of a universal opening, a “people’s fury” more inclined to conceive art artifacts as hunting conquests than as meditative occasions. The birth of sciences such as museology and museography has disciplined the sector, but also created standards that too often cause contemporary misunderstandings: teaching and the indispensability of the place.

These two points, absolutely necessary, implying direct experience with the work, have frozen the fruition in a materialistic event, an authentic paradox, and has developed very few constructive alternatives to the daily inflows of human flesh. Of course: art and museums live on the basis of people, but humanity cannot and must not live according to art.

Precisely because conceived by an artist, the solution devised by Luca Pozzi, regarding the vision of spaces bearing beauty and history, appears significant and effective in reflecting the infinite feasible possibilities. The project called The Dark Collection, an APP that can be downloaded free of charge from the author’s website, contains the individual poetics of the artist’s research, an aesthetic-media investigation imbued with quantum physics, but also opens up an original and relational scenario by marrying the coexistence of augmented reality with classical painting[1].

The Dark Collection stages ovoid figures built in 3D Graphics that hover near the paintings and altarpieces of the Brera ‘s picture gallery and the munificent frescoes of the Sistine Chapel: these places, quite random though arbitrary, already bearers of centuries-old historical-artistic connections , display two interesting suggestions related to the ocular presence of digital sculptures (appropriately named Third Eye Prophecy) that are worth mentioning, taking advantage of a charming metaphorical role of these gallery complexes to unravel the aforementioned didactic and logistical knots.


On the Brera ‘s picture gallery it is pertinent to note the secularist sentiment that led to the demolition of the church of Santa Maria in Brera to gain space for the future collection of Italian Art, a more exegetic than critical approach, remembering how the collection was organized by two “technicians”, the artists Giuseppe Bossi and Andrea Appiani, infatuated with Lanzi’s theories: if the didactic necessity in the first decade of the 19th century can be legitimized only by visual accessibility, the current world requires a multisensory media conversation to qualify the value managed by the works of art .

Neither invasive nor affected, Luca Pozzi’s “Third Eye” nevertheless maintains the desire for an artistic intervention, in a “guerrilla style”, creating a visceral and trans-migratory relationship between the observer and the observed object, not only apparent but even physical, considering the smartphone as a real body appendix[2]. This educated transgression allows a structural reversal of the museum use, because it filters the vision to a shared subjectivity made active by a binary consciousness: teaching is no longer imposed but chosen in contemplation.


Speaking instead of the most recent proposal (issued on Easter 2020, while the first application was made available by Christmas 2019) prepared for the Sistine Chapel, the ocular signifier carries a much more complex load for the current function of place of worship. The political and theological reasons behind the construction of the papal oratory abound as much as the manifest allegorical references, weaving a visual and subliminal semantic connection[3].

In this case, Pozzi’s work aims precisely to rhizomatically amplify the interdisciplinary cases, correlating the theories relating to dark matter and cosmology with the philosophical, religious and artistic arguments inherent to the occupied space: the mystical vein of the room cloaks the suspended eye of an esoteric and metaphysical character[4], suitable for an iconography widely used also by the Catholic Church. No less pertinent is the transcendence evoked by the Sistine Chapel, which provides coded reading keys on the indispensability of the place, bringing the context to be the first actual public museum in history, because it is linked to performative elements (the liturgical ritual and the pilgrimage of visitors -faithful) who constantly “move” their physical permanence, exactly like the free activation of Dark Collection.

Once the extrasensory reflections have been removed, it is good to frame the analytical value of Dark Collection. The role and shape of the Third Eye Prophecy, actually taken from a tennis ball ovalized by speed with an explosive pupil in the center, are reminiscent, with due distinctions, of the Jeff Koons series called Gazin Ball, where the American artist positions (physically) a mirroring blue-electric sphere on faithful reproductions of well-known works of art of the past, from the Mona Lisa by Da Vinci, to the Madonna in Gloria by Perugino, up to the Breakfast on the grass of Manet. Both artistic works actually pose a dialectical question with traditional workers by preparing an object as a perceptual and empirical metric term, but there is a fundamental difference: while Koons realizes a deconstructive action, Pozzi is inclusive, implementing a space-based time “collaboration” between reality and its representation[5]. The multidisciplinary artist is not new to projects including classic scenarios (Wilson Tour Carracci, Supersymmetric Partner), however the evidence of Dark Collection stands out for the explicit and decisive relationship with the audience, the authentic “work” to be safeguarded, lightening generously and clearly a debate between visitor and local museum planning, which has long been opaque and darkened further in this period of forced removal: with the necessary precautions and filters, even an eclipse becomes an opportunity to be seen.

Luca Sposato

[1] There is an abundant bibliography on the relationship between aesthetics, technology and connected society; everyone should remember the contribution of Derrick de Kerckhove, author of Skin of Culture. See D. DE KERCKHOVE, The skin of culture: an investigation into the new electronic reality, Genoa, Costa & Nolan, 1996.

[2] This object-metaphorical correspondence evokes Georges Bataille’s Histoire de l’œil, to which an Italian edition accurately reports a comment by Barthes: “The Histoire de l’œil is truly the story of an object. How can an object have a story? It can pass from hand to hand (giving rise to insipid inventions like History of my pipe or Memories of an armchair), and it can also pass from image to image, its history then is the story of a migration, the cycle of reincarnations (in the proper sense) that it travels in detaching itself from the original being, following the inclination of a certain imagination that deforms it without abandoning it: this is the case in Bataille’s book.” cfr. R. BARTHES, The metaphor of the eye, in G. Bataille, History of the eye (1928), Milan, SE Editore, 2008, p. 155.

[3] It will suffice to cite Eugenio Battisti (1960) and Maurizio Calvesi (1997) to delve into the long and fascinating historical and iconographic event of the Sistine Chapel, still one of the most studied monuments in the world today due to questions not fully clarified.

[4] There are several confirmations on the comparison between the Jewish Kabbalah and the artistic structure of the Sistine, motivated by the desire to express an ideological superiority between the Jewish religion and Christianity. An example comes precisely from the aforementioned Battisti: the historian approached (and confirmation seems to come from an inscription on the building painted by Perugino in the Handing Over of the Keys) the dimensions of the Chapel supplied to them by biblical reading for the Temple of Solomon. In addition to the scientific team, the esoteric nature of the “inner eye” provided by enthusiasts of the genre is interesting for the topic. See R. STEINER, Theosophy. An introduction to the over-sensitive knowledge of the world and the destiny of man (1918), Milan, Carlo Aliprandi publisher, 1922.

[5] In particular, note the distinct character of the reflection on the sculptures of the two artists: the Koons ball “erodes” the light as a physical body and deprives it of the stable color of the paintings, Pozzi instead creates a sculpture that “technically” duplicates “the surfaces of the environment and concentrates them on the elliptical mass of the floating eye (body that, in fact, does not produce shadow), generating a sort of anti-reflection.


Luca Pozzi. The Dark Collection
curated by SWAN STATION
From December 25th – forever
Opening | December 24 at 24:00 when no one can be there
Timetables | Tuesday – Sunday / 8.30am – 7.15pm closed on Mondays.
Pinacoteca di Brera – Milano

Luca Pozzi. The Dark Collection – Sistine Chapel
curated by SWAN STATION
From April 12 – forever
Opening | April 12 at 00:00 when nobody can be there
Timetables | Monday – Saturday / 9.00 – 18.00 – closed on Sunday
Sistine Chapel – Città del Vaticano

Luca Pozzi “The Dark Collection”, 2019. Luca Pozzi aziona Third Eye Prophecy scultura in grafica 3D tra Alvise Vivarini (Redentore benedicente) e confini architettonici della Pinacoteca di BreraLuca Pozzi, “The Dark Collection”, 2019. Luca Pozzi operates Third Eye Prophecy sculpture in 3D graphics between Alvise Vivarini (Blessing Redeemer) and the architectural boundaries of the Pinacoteca di Brera

Luca Pozzi, “The Dark Collection”, 2019. Third Eye Prophecy sculpture in 3D graphics between Canaletto (View of the San Marco basin) and Bernardo Bellotto (View of the Gazzada), (Detail)

Luca Pozzi, “The Dark Collection”, 2019. Third Eye Prophecy sculpture in 3D graphics between Paolo Veronese (Last Supper) and (The temptations of Christ)

Luca Pozzi, “The Dark Collection – Sistine Chapel”, 2020. Third Eye Prophecy digital sculpture between Michelangelo (Last Judgment)

Luca Pozzi “The Dark Collection – Sistine Chapel”, 2020. Third Eye Prophecy scultura digitale tra Perugino (Partenza di Mosè per l'Egitto) e Botticelli (Prove di Mosè)Luca Pozzi, “The Dark Collection – Sistine Chapel”, 2020. Third Eye Prophecy digital sculpture between Perugino (Departure of Moses for Egypt) and Botticelli (Prove of Moses)

Luca Pozzi, “The Dark Collection – Sistine Chapel”, 2020. Third Eye Prophecy digital sculpture between Perugino (Handing over the Keys) and Rosselli (Last Supper)

Ink drops: Giulia Napoleone on display in Florence

The procedural method that characterizes Giulia Napoleone’s work is not a banal visual and formal erudition, but a strong and invisible anchor chained to the cartographic features of her works, which declares a depth of thought.

The proof is the artist’s success in the numerous gallery, fair and museum exhibitions, among a varied audience. In its immediacy, the exhibition Nero di China curated by Bruno Corà, proposed by the Galleria Il Ponte in Florence, until 20 March 2020, has the pride of supporting an almost exclusively wall use, an invitation to a meditative reading for each work-poster. Legitur ergo est.

The comparison between painting and writing has illustrious precedents and current promoters of undoubted character, yet Giulia Napoleone manages to distinguish herself with acute prowess thanks to, at least, two significant elements: manual practice and landscape inclination. On the first, the rhythmic narration of the work is quite evident, which the shrewd Corà approaches Opalka[1] with which, moreover, Giulia Napoleone shares a past as an engraver that is anything but negligible, as it is precisely from the ritual constancy implicit in this technique that both the artists derive the course, the mantra, proper to their work.

Less obvious, although already present in long-standing productions[2], is the naturalistic dimension of the author from Abruzzo; the minimal shapes always bear a reference to traces and environmental signs, attributable to a perceptive graphic style or a natural gesture. The capillary river or mountain lines, the star trails and even the characteristic pearly have an implication with the outside world, which Napoleone translates into a personal and universal language at the same time.

Contrary to international counterparts, the Italian minimalists convey a more intimate and warm thought, inevitably offered by the consequences of working in contact with one of the most important historical-artistic areas of the planet: it will be enough, not to stumble in rhetoric, to remember the Grand Tour centuries to clarify the bio-rhythmic peculiarity enjoyed in the Bel Paese, still vibrant despite the newspapers and concrete. Light is a further eminent element in Napoleon’s painting, finely illustrated in its essence, a Chemical Realism would be to be enunciated[3].

With regard to the Florentine exhibition, the monotony of duotone is averted by the formal and structural variety, but above all by the significant value assumed by each individual piece: there is no way, everything is the result of a certain emotional and phenomenological moment (the light is not never the same), as the temporal and optical impact that comes out of all the works on display, the handfuls of hours and days, drop by drop of ink, is not avoided.

The poetic-literary threshold is crossed several times, creating a pleasant metafigurative dichotomy, explicit in the artist books Les Rehauts du Songe (2017) and Olympia (2019), both for the Editions Al Manar, with the poems by Yves Peyré and Luigia Sorrentino: the graphic and typographic signs follow one another in a dark waltz, prey to an ocular vortex of reading and figure, leaving the right observer to breathe the cards.

There is, indeed, an inviting and discreet plastic force, more suited to the touch than to the “grip”, in the painter’s paintings, however elusive, wild force, just like a landscape, cannot be harnessed.

Luca Sposato

[1] Cfr. B. CORÀ, Giulia Napoleone. La mediazione ininterrotta dei segni. in Nero di China, exhibition catalogue at Galleria Il Ponte di Firenze, ed. Gli Ori, Pontedera, 2020, p.19.

[2] Since the 1960s, Napoleon’s research has focused on “representing light” almost in mimetic form, capturing the element’s dust image, its environmental purity; the Mutano i cieli series (2002) is further confirmation of the naturalistic character of her work.

[3] Overcoming Alchemy, it has been noted that different currents of the twentieth century, in particular Magic Realism, find in chemical science the ideal fulcrum between reality and the invisible world, to be drawn on to “give phosphorus” to the distinct expressive manifestations.


Giulia Napoleone. Nero di China
curated by Bruno Corà
through March 20, 2020
Galleria il Ponte
via di Mezzo 42/B, 50121, Firenze
opening hours: Monday / Friday 15.30 – 19.00. Saturday by appointment
055 / 240617 – –

exhibition view, Giulia Napoleone. Nero di China, 2020Giulia Napoleone. Nero di China, 2020 exhibition view at Galleria il Ponte

Giulia Napoleone. Nero di China, 2020 exhibition view at Galleria il Ponte

Giulia Napoleone, Au bord du vide, 2019, Indian ink, Arches paper, 103x103 cmGiulia Napoleone, Au bord du vide, 2019, Indian ink, Arches paper, 103×103 cm

Giulia Napoleone, La clarté 2, 2018/19, Indian ink, board, ø50 cm

Andrea Santarlasci. In Segreto (Secretly)

“Now you are looking for the secret … but you will not find it,
because in reality you are not really looking.
You don’t want to know. You want to be deceived. “[1]

Over the years the research conducted by the Center for Contemporary Art Casa Masaccio, a project widespread in the urban fabric of San Giovanni Valdarno, has promoted some of the most interesting thematic initiatives of the peninsula counting, on this matter, on very small budgets compared to homologous teams: without pointing the index in order to avoid futile digressions, it is factual to note the good conduct of Casa Masaccio, an investigation supported by acute intuitions and leathery will.

Already an exceptional guest of the Aretina[2] district, Andrea Santarlasci takes the opportunity to wander around the rooms available with an exhibition capable of combining suggestion with philosophical and literary echoes. The solo show In Segreto (Secretly), curated by Saretto Cincinelli, open until March 15, 2020, concentrates the main exhibition core in the three floors of what was once the birthplace of one of the initiators of the Renaissance, however, making use of the double location of Palazzo Corboli, current headquarters of the Municipal Library, for the appropriate underground installation created ad hoc by the artist.

Starting from this work, Our invisible memories (2019), a massive yellowish cube raised from the ground, built with various excavation boxes from which archaeological finds resurface (bones, shards, furnishings, …), a well-defined track is configured in reading the event, full of Dante’s wicked[3]. The anabasic path of the exhibition is not driven by forcing but is inevitable, due to the physical structure of the place and also for the calibrated induction of the setting, capable of increasing voyeuristic desire and of dynamically pushing towards fruition: even the acting performance culminating at the last floor of the building leads the spectators to an unconscious circular motion! This relationship with the public is the strength of Santarlasci’s art, in the wake of a declared appreciation for Heraclitus[4] and the use of extremely romantic archetypes suited to reconciling the current historical moment.

It is necessary to underline the philosophical debt that the research of the author has with the concept of Time, also proposed on this occasion in its precarious, suspended character. The peculiarity of the display rotates precisely on the suspension, adopted with physical or illusory solutions: in the first case, next to the already mentioned Our invisible memories, there is the surprising The other light of the day (2019), a “miraculously” stable acacia trunk on a minimum support capable of projecting a shadow of another shape, while a fragile evanescence is mostly proposed by the photographs On the edge of another threshold (2014) which seem to “lighten” the environment, windowing it, together with the Thauma pieces (2015 ) and Aletheia (2016), visual synthesis of the transmigratory oscillation of all the lexical meanings of Time, from the sublime to eternity[5].

Santarlasci reveals the temporal dimension as a mobile body, only apparently static, whose deformation, or rather oscillation, is synonymous with Beauty as a propagating force derailed by its course: the curator Cincinelli suggests the reading of Derrida[6], of how Time is «out of joint», outside the box, so not revealed and intimately yearned for. The mobility with which one has to face, in the face of an ambition for eternity, is a further key for understanding the exhibition which takes on the author’s intimate and autobiographical value: this is “the place of secrecy”, consciousness of mortality, of duration, in which everything exists and is no longer in the same act.

Luca Sposato


Andrea Santarlasci. In Segreto (Secretly)
until March 15, 2020
Casa Masaccio Center for Contemporary Art
Corso Italia 83, 52027, San Giovanni Valdarno (AR)
055/9126283 – – ​​

[1] M. CAINE, as Cutter in The Prestige, by C. Nolan 2006.

[2] the group shows Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, 1999, curated by Rita Selvaggio and Ripensare il medium: il fantasma del disegno, 2015, curated by Saretto Cincinelli and Cristiana Collu.

[3] In addition to the ascending journey that the exhibition pursues, from the catabase of Our invisible memories on the top floor with the rectified labyrinth, stage of the performance, we can see forms and subjects contemplating a metaphysical plane, in particular, next to The invisible image of places (2019), installed on the wall there is a branch that burns on one side and spreads a light and striped black smoke, it seems to suggest the verses:

«Come d’un stizzo verde ch’arso sia
dall’un de’ capi, che dall’altro geme
e cigola per vento che va via,
sì della scheggia rotta usciva insieme
parole e sangue; ond’io lasciai la cima
cadere, e stetti come l’uom che teme.»
(Inferno, XIII 40-45)

[4] It is remarkable that In Segreto creates continuous semantic relationships with philosophical literature, to which Heraclitus, called the “Dark” by ancient thinkers, seems to embody the role of tutelary deity.

[5] Returning to Dante, it is interesting to remember how relevant the concept of Time is in the Divine Comedy, not only in the richness of meanings of the lexeme, but in a real ontological implication, daughter of the Aristotelian and Augustinian debate of its time, summarized, with much approximation, to the contrast between time as movement and as eternity. See E.MOORE, The references to time in the Divine Comedy, Italian translation by Cino Chiarini, Sansoni, Florence, 1900, the entry TEMPO in C. VASOLI, Dante’s Encyclopedia, Florence, 1970 and in Dante’s Vocabulary, edited by Paola Manni and Lino Leonardi, 2015.

[6] J. DERRIDA and M. FERRARIS, The taste of the secret, Rome, 1997.

Andrea Santarlasci, L’altra luce del giorno, 2019, veduta dell’installazione (frammento di tronco di acacia con radice, sabbia di fiume e proiezione video). Foto Andrea SantarlasciAndrea Santarlasci, L’altra luce del giorno, 2019, installation view (fragment of acacia trunk with root, river sand and video projection). Photo Andrea Santarlasci

Andrea Santarlasci, Aletheia, 2016, (detail), watercolor and tempera on plywood, ink and acrylic on glass and wooden frame. Photo Nicola Gronchi

Andrea Santarlasci, Lacrimae, 2018, three lambda prints. Foto Nicola Gronchi

Andrea Santarlasci, L’attimo che precede la visione, 2005, lambda print

Andrea Santarlasci, L’immagine invisibile dei luoghi, 2019, installation-performance view (iron frames, perforated sheets, oil lamp, sound system). Photo Nicola Gronchi

Andrea Santarlasci, In certi luoghi, oltre l’orizzonte del nostro sguardo, si aprono profondità insondabili e non consumabili, 2015, watercolor on paper, ink and acrylic on glass, printed glass, and wooden frame. Photo Nicola Gronchi

Luca Bertolo. The unpredictable virtues of painting

“Who first compared painting and poetry to each other was a man of fine sentiment who had caught in himself a similar effect of both arts. Both, he perceived, represent objects absent as if they were present, semblance as reality; they both delude us, and they both like the illusion. ” G. E. Lessing, Laocoonte or the boundaries between poetry and painting, 1766.

The critical difficulty of diverging on current painting, in the wake of the 1920s, leaving aside the anachronistic question as it is the writer’s belief that Novelty can no longer be considered a yardstick[1], is certainly aware of widespread prosaicity. Contemplating, in the expressive freedom, however factual, a pragmatic and rational artistic research, the effectiveness of this, however, will never be able to do without a sentimental spark, often arising precisely from the practice: it is the protein synthesized by thought and the hand, the essence of Art[2].

With the solo show Why write? Why paint? proposed at SpazioA gallery in Pistoia until 10 January 2020, Luca Bertolo shifts the center of gravity of the pictorial phenomenology on a critical level, as a persistent element in the work both in the creative and fruitful phase and even during the realization phase: the art work, being a manifestation of a language, keeps a concept constant which inevitably overflows and flows into others.

If the literary matrix already stands out from the title, a tribute to the American writer Philip Roth, plastically taken up with a large work evoking the cover of Why Write? Collected Nonfiction 1960-2013, in addition to permeating in all those works including writing (Deleuze, On Poetry, Letter), the reflection to which Bertolo invites does not have, indeed, that tautological rigor of a post-philosophical art[3] but it presses on formal licentiousness, where color is undoubtedly the protagonist, formulating the existentialist question in the only possible non-answer: poetry.

The exhibition takes on the character of a Baudelaireian paraphrase[4] favoring a complete delicacy, without, in the end, denying some melodramatic moments in line with the aforementioned license which evidently affects aesthetics and allegory: the cold but pasty greens of Third Landscape # 21 or Natura Morta or Madonna with Child that finely accompany the pale and lyrical solutions of Appunto, Fiore di Anna # 2 and Lucherino, are contrasted by ironic situations (Why write ?, Untitled 19 # 05, Smiley 19 # 02) or by acute metaphysical reflections such as Hate but above all TODAY, a sort of tombstone of the Present set aside as in an abandoned cemetery (political allusions? Who knows).

The romantic aspect that involves a strong audience interaction, far from being episodic in this period, coined as Relational Romanticism, enriches Bertolo’s search for a conscious and responsible conduct, even ethical, not only in the personification of being painter, also in the will to ask excruciating questions: where is the poetry? Is there still in the world? Did Calliope prostitute herself to vicious and self-centered artists or did she also migrate in the hope of a less worse landing place than the wasteland of origin?

The absence of answers to illogical questions finds critical affirmation in the observation of the Vacuo, physical and temporal, of the current bitter experience, because the poetic and artistic depth is no longer vertical but expansive.


Luca Bertolo. Why write? Why paint?
until 10th January 2020
via Amati 13, 51100, Pistoia
0573/977354 – –

[1] Having overcome the formal criteria and facing a historical moment where the availability of images is continuous and incessant, it is absolutely no longer appropriate to bind to structural innovation in the creation of a work of art: the “new” is nothing but a nineteenth-century spectrum which much of the art criticism still pursues. The objective evaluation must shift to the artist, his degree of conscience and the ability to interact with the community.

[2] As proof of the above, Bertolo himself points out a halo of Romanticism in the minimalist art of Sol Lewitt, in an interview in 2010 which is worth reporting on: “In the case of conceptual art, madness lies in the fact of treating ideas as things unrelated to any practice, any interaction with things, with the body, with matter. I am interested in Sol Lewitt when, in his “Paragraphs on Conceptual Art”, he says things like: “Conceptual artists are mystics rather than rationalists. They jump to conclusions that logic cannot reach.” Or: “Rational judgments repeat rational judgments. Irrational judgments lead to new experiences.” It’s so true. It is paradoxical that it has become a common opinion to consider conceptual artists, in general, rationalists, geometers of the spirit, with their schemes … then go to read one of their founding texts and at the first point it is said that conceptual artists are mystical rather than rationalists! Where we talk about logic, but to use it to the limit of the obsession: “Irrational thoughts should be follow absolutely and logically”. Then you understand the greatness of Sol Lewitt … The conceptual dimension must however take into account a form of irrationality. The thing that most distances me from the conceptual way of understanding art is the opinion that the realization dimension is only a by-product of the idea. I repeat, as far as I know, creating a work is the same thing as realizing the idea of ​​a work, both are formed, find a shape, the right shape, during the process. Making art means producing thought, not illustrating it.” Read Artext incontra Luca Bertolo, 2010,

[3] Read J. KOSUTH, Art after philosophy: the meaning of conceptual art, Costa&Nolan Ed., Genova, 2000.

[4] The reference is punctual above all in Baudelaire’s critical drafting, although, as in a game of mirrors, it is also valid for poetic production. The opinion of the French author is known on the subject: “I believe in conscience that the best criticism is the one that is delightful and poetic; not a cold and algebraic criticism which, under the pretext of explaining everything, feels neither hatred nor love, and deliberately divests itself of every trace of temperament; but – reflected by the eye of an artist – that which will make us see a painting through the mirror of an intelligent and sensitive spirit, if it is true that a beautiful painting is reflected nature. So the best critical review of a beautiful painting can be a sonnet or an elegy.” See C. BAUDELAIRE, What is the purpose of criticism? In Writings on art. Preface by Ezio Raimondi. Translation by Giuseppe Guglielmi and Ezio Raimondi,Giulio Einaudi Editore, Torino, 1981, pp. 57.

Luca BertoloLuca Bertolo, Why Write? Why Paint?, 2019, exhibition view at SpazioA

Luca Bertolo, Natura morta / Still Life, 2019, oil on canvas, cm 70 x 80Luca Bertolo, Natura morta / Still Life, 2019, oil on canvas, cm 70 x 80

Luca Bertolo, Lucherino, 2019, oil on canvas, cm 40 x 50

Luca Bertolo, Lucherino, 2019, oil on canvas, cm 40 x 50

Luca Bertolo, Il fiore di Anna #2 / Anna’s Flower #2,2019, oil and crayon on canvas, cm 200 x 250

Luca Bertolo, Why Write? Why Paint?, 2019, exhibition view at SpazioA

Concrete Novel. Michelangelo Consani’s collection at Museo d’Inverno in Siena

The Lupa district in Siena has for several years now boasted one of the most attractive and emblematic institutions of contemporary research, achronic in its development and empirical in its proposal. Where once the waters of the Fonte Nuova rolled by, today Museo d’Inverno, run by the artists Eugenia Vanni and Francesco Carone, is stuck, faithful to the original proposal to narrate an aspect, episodic or long-lived, of the artist invited through works by friends and colleagues collected over the years: in this perspective, the curatorial aspect of the guest, Michelangelo Consani, stands out and crowns his own artistic investigation conceptually focused on the material-environmental relations, definable as a Concrete Narrative.

Starting from the re-enactment of his collaborative and personal relationship with Emilio Prini, manifest in the title of the exhibition “I did not make the chair the table the sheet the pen with which I write”, aphorism by Prini that seems to take back Antonio De Curtis[1], Consani exploits the spaces contained in the Museum to recreate a biopic interpreted by well-matched works and anecdotes, both aesthetically and synchronously. If the memory of Prini, the most authentic of the Arte Povera movement, is extremely concentrated in the meager installation in the first room of a photograph, a text and a frame never filled, the second room offers the swirling meeting of the artists known and collected following a chromatic and even cinematographic logic, with the reading of an oblique overview[2].

Thought dominates, certainly with the meditative accent of the first room brought by the reading of the tribute text written in a diary tone to reveal the mystery of the workless frame, but persists in the conceptual and post-information works of Aníbal López, Deimantas Narkevicius and Kendell Geers, communicated by typographical signs. In particular Kendell Geers, with “noituLOVEr” stigmatizes those destabilizing forms close to the work of Consani as already prescribed by Celant at the origins of Arte Povera[3] emphasizing the need of the artist-researcher to overturn the established order, because the revolution is not evolution, it is not a transformation tending to a certain end. The dynamism of the exhibition also lends itself to an oscillatory motion, in the authorial duality of the works, peculiar to photography (Michelangelo Pistoletto, Robert Pettena, Ugo la Pietra), and is rendered plastically by the fire of the lit fireplace which serves, moreover, twice as much role of memory and change, precisely Revolution, by no means vehement rather, as aforesaid, meditative and evolving, an internal revolt equal to a state of consciousness.

Likewise, the mutation of the flesh is an inevitable element in the perceptive-evocative process, not only at an experiential level but more intimately existential, implemented as a subtraction / extraction[4] imbued with the traditional Michelangelo’s “levare”: it is clearly alluding to the unique sculptures on display , the precious anamorphic by Emanuele Becheri and especially the Lupa by Davide Rivalta positioned in the third terraced area of ​​the Museum, guarding the city to which it is an icon. In a concentrated and vibrant sequence of past-present-future, the exhibition feature film[5] proposed by Consani concludes, three white, red and silver paintings, almost to pay homage to Senarum signum et decus, the colors of the host Contrada.

Luca Sposato

[1] The declaration attributed to Prini “I have no plans, I grope, I see no trace of the birth of art (or tragedy) because CS is not the fruit of pure human labor (because I did not make the chair the table the sheet the pen with which I write) I do not create, if it is possible. ‘ tangibility of their work: «I am not an artist, but only a salesman of rumors, like Petrolini who, in fact, has been forgotten. A carpenter is worth more than the two of us put together, because at least he makes a wardrobe, a chair that remains. We, at best, when it goes well, we last a generation. The writing remains, a picture remains, even a sink remains. But the chatter of the actors pass “. See O. FALLACI, Oriana Fallaci and Totò, the metaphysical prince, interview on the European, 1963 and L. DE CURTIS, Totò. Are we men or corporals? Semi-serious diary of Antonio de Curtis, Newton & Compton, Rome, 1996.

[2] The empty-full arrangement is a symbol of Consani’s artistic journey. From attending with Prini, to whom he was an assistant, he draws that authorial impoverishment of the work of art in favor of a close “absence” both to a western philosophy (Deleuze, Bourriaud) and to the doctrine of “do not” by Masanobu Fukuoka.

[3] See G. CELANT, Arte povera: notes for a guerrilla, in «Flash Art», nº 5, November-December 1967.

[4] Term coined by Gilles Deleuze especially after the meeting with Carmelo Bene, in the second half of the Seventies. Already in Difference and Repetition the philosopher captures the innovation of the anti-representative processes, but it is precisely in the theater of Bene that he fully adopts the idea of non-representation. See G. DELEUZE, Difference and repetition, Cortina, Milan 1997 and C. BENE & G. DELEUZE, A manifesto less, in «Overlapping», Quodlibet, Macerata 2002 and L. CHIESA, The theater of subtractive extinction. Bene without Deleuze, “Mimesis Journal”, I, 2 (2012), pp. 107-123.

[5] The insistence on cinema comes from a chat with Consani himself; the artist claims to have been inspired by three films to set up the three available spaces, namely Una pura formalità by Giuseppe Tornatore (1994) for the first room, Brutti sporchi e cattivi by Ettore Scola (1976) for the second room and 2046 by Wong Kar-wai (2004) for the outdoor environment. The inspiration, more ideal than formal, marks the temporal relationship of the exhibition, with a good dose of irony to describe the communion of the artists (attitude already of Prini) and surreal and futuristic tips for the relationship with the works (technically the Lupa of Rivalta is a next purchase of his collection).


Michelangelo Consani
non ho fatto io la sedia il tavolo il foglio la penna con la quale scrivo

Daniele Bacci, Emanuele Becheri, Erick Beltràn, Kendell Geers, Piero Gilardi, Ugo La Pietra, Anìbal Lòpez (A-1 53167), Cildo Meireles, Deimantas Narkevicius , Robert Pettena, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Davide Rivalta, Pascale Marthine Tayou, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Italo Zuffi.

20 October – 21 December 2019
only by appointment

Museo d’Inverno
via pian d’Ovile 29, 53100 Siena
+39/3487438845  +39/3333082236 |

Foto ritratto di Michelangelo Consani e Emilio Prini, 2003 (courtesy Ph Emanuele Becheri)

Manifesto ricordo di Michelangelo Consani, con cornice che avrebbe dovuto ospitare opera di Emilio Prini, 2019 (courtesy Ph Emanuele Becheri)

da sx opere di Anìbal Lòpez (A-1 53167), Pascale Marthine Tayou, Piero Gilardi, Ugo La Pietra, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Kendell Geers, exhibition view (courtesy Ph Emanuele Becheri)

Senza Titolo, Emanuele Becheri, 2019 (courtesy Ph Emanuele Becheri)Emanuele Becheri, Senza Titolo, 2019 (courtesy Ph Emanuele Becheri)

Michelangelo ConsaniDavide Rivalta,  La Lupa, 2019 (courtesy Ph Emanuele Becheri)

The shield of Achilles. Emanuele Becheri at the Fuoricampo Gallery in Siena

«Sai che t’avverrà, praticando il disegnare di penna?
che ti farà sperto, pratico e capace di molto disegno entro la testa tua.»
(Cennini, Il Libro dell’arte, XIII)

Often, speaking of drawing as a contemporary practice, the critique usually takes up the myth of the potter Butade, handed down by Pliny the Elder in Naturalis Historia, in the honorable intention of rekindling the legendary aura of this archaic technique.

The quotation from the myth, where the daughter of the artisan follows the shadow of the beloved to impress his effigy, while the skilled hands of the father model a terracotta on the signs, has been consumed over the centuries (Alberti, Vasari, Regnault, Fussli …) undoubtedly contributing to nourish the romantic aspect of drawing, ferried during the twentieth century up to conquer a post-media value (like cinema). The path of Emanuele Becheri, on display at the Fuoricampo gallery in Siena until 11 July, is somatic before than psychic, evolved not only for the longevity gained in nearly twenty years of research but for the increasingly conscious relational tangles of his works. States of mind, characterized by the double location between the gallery and the Hall of San Galgano in the complex of Santa Maria della Scala (open until 6 July) focuses on the intimate and turbulent relationship between drawing and sculpture, presenting some conciliatory pieces of the artist’s recent production.

If in his first works Becheri sought an authorial dispersion conceiving the case as an element of creation declined in blind gestures (Donner à Voir, 2004) or uncontrolled (Shining, 2007), in the latest works the manual (even digital) presence of the artist, an index of intellectual progress similar to the Évolution créatrice (1907) by Bergson, where he states that man should be defined as homo faber rather than homo sapiens. The consistency of the path, in addition to aesthetic concerns, comes to light due to the constant systematic unpredictability of the works, no longer limited in the creative act but now enlarged to the perceptive moment of the user, consciously shifting the artistic center of gravity: the object becomes art not in the moment in which it is made, but in the moment in which it is seen, as poetry becomes art not when it is written but when it is read.

Authorial dispersion is thus maintained.

In this sense, rather than to the countless and tantalizing visual references1, I would like to emphasize two points about the Sienese exhibition of literary-conceptual origin: the Ecfrastic aspect and the Christological aspect.

The need to scan the work through various interpretative means (memory, suggestion, perspective, …) places a constant translation value on the work itself and a further vaporization of authenticity. The ecfrase (from the Greek èk-phrasis, “out-describing”) in the field of art history has assumed aesthetic values ​​that often accorded, if not even competed, with plastic works, especially when the subjects were lost pieces or non-existent. In Becheri’s case it is the physiognomy that is the object of description by loading the sculptures and drawings of a literary eloquence achieved with a suffered and erosive téchne, the artist becomes the river that erodes with epic constancy and fatigue «… is the placid water, the water that ruins the bridges, which creeps into every crevice and laps every cove … gurgling in the basements and in the sewers »2.

The changing dynamism of his work is enriched by psycho-theological connotations in relation with the second location of the exhibition, a hall formerly the women’s lane of the pilgrim of Santa Maria della Scala. To clarify, the monogram of the Spedale with the scale surmounted by a cross3 comes to the rescue: the calvaric and transcendent path of the artist, although it appears immediate and spontaneous, is painful and cathartic, without however denying a thread of narcissism or sprezzatura, as suggested the same author in an introductory poem to his own exhibition. Rebalancing this Pindarian escape is the Pietas Carnis evident in the works but even in the artist’s character, a body abandoned in the arms of capricious Nature.

Becheri is Christ, but a primitive and autarchic, cannibal and romantic Christ, the Themroc4 of art.

[1] especially Rodin: with Figure in the landscape, 2017 Becheri seems to reconstruct a small Porte de l’Enfer, 1889. On the link between the hand and the divine, synthetic but effective D. JARRASSÉ, The hand of God or the hand of artist, in Rodin – Forma e Movimento, Ed. Ita Rusconi Libri, Rimini, 2002, pg. 213-214.

[2] See M. PRAZ, Whitman and Proust, in The pact with the snake: paralipomeni of “The meat, the death and the devil in romantic literature”, Milan, 1972, p.448.

[3] on the anatomical aspect of the scale complex, in particular on the reference to the collum capitis See L. DI FONZO, The Mariology of Saint Bernardino from Siena, «Miscellanea francascana», 1947, 1-2, passim, and pp. 38-39, 41, 44, 55, 58, 59, 60.

[4] C. FARALDO, Themroc, France, 1973.


Emanuele Becheri. Stati d’animo
24 May – 11 July 2019
Galleria Fuoricampo
Via Salicotto 1/3, angolo Piazza del Campo, 53100 Siena (Italy) –

Emanuele BecheriEmanuele Becheri. Stati d’animo, installation view at Galleria Fuoricampo, Siena

Emanuele Becheri. Stati d’animo, installation view at Galleria Fuoricampo, Siena

Emanuele Becheri, Stati d’animo#11, 2017 pongo on paper, 30 x 42 cm

Emanuele Becheri, Figura nel paesaggio, 2017, Santa Maria della Scala

The sense of air without notes. At the Tenuta dello Scompiglio, a rich calendar of artistic events on the theme of death

It comes to mind, perhaps plagiarized by the recent death of Bruno Ganz (Upper-case artist), the scene of the famous masterpiece by Herzog, Nosferatu – The prince of the night, when in the last plague-stricken supper, slow, harrowing and very sweet the table companion says to the protagonist: “Seien Sie unser Gast. Wir alle haben die Pest. Also lasst uns jeden genießen Tag, der bleibt »1. The pettiness of this pseudo-Flemish fresco, between libations and white mice, condenses much of the narrative poetics of the director, interested not in the accomplished act nor even in the Beauty but in the tension preceding the end, in the prelude that already becomes, by announcing it, the death.

Black ink lakes were formed on the bibliographical drafting about Death, the first human conscience, a theme embodied by the Art itself in response to the transience of time. However, current events are based on other implications of the subject, moving it from an object of thought to a mere phenomenological (if not journalistic) fact, depriving it of all temporal and metaphysical reflection.

That’s why Della morte e del morire, an exhibition proposed by the Tenuta dello Scompiglio near Vorno (Capannori, Lucca) deserves attention and philosophical study. A sequence of performances, installations, exhibitions, concerts and initiatives of various kinds will cover throughout 2019 the busy schedule of the Scompiglio Cultural Association, directed by Cecilia Bertoni, focusing on the three semantic characters of death: socio-political, ideological and celebratory. The theatrical vocation of the context and the wide-ranging spaces certainly make it possible to construct scenographic installations of strong visual impact, a double-edged sword if the accent is placed on the evident naturalistic aspect of the context, “step-mother” in the aesthetic offer, and persuasive in dictating to the artists already visited forms arguing Eternal Sleep.

Taking up the Herzogian citation, Death is the constant oscillation and perfection between Beauty and certainty, it cannot tend excessively to one or the other due to its temporal power, it exists only in function of the moment. If therefore the work The vulnerability of precious things, result of the residence conducted by Sabrina Mezzaqui at Tenuta dello Scompiglio, develops precepts well related to the matter discussed. The formal aspect has already “expired”, it does not reflect on death but on temporality (not necessarily synonyms ), leaving the viewer distant due to the unbalanced timing, although peculiar for a residence. Cautiously, the installation The Cannibals by Titta Cosetta Raccagni focuses on the chronicle, on the constant and violent suspension of the migrant’s condition and the idea of ​​a conscious rebirth, finding a balance even with a cyber-punk comic note. Between the archetype and fashion. Both works have just finished, precisely on May 26 and June 2, while more time is given to works of significant physical and resource complexity, scheduled until September 22nd.

These are Camera # 5 by Cecilia Bertoni, the Riderless Horse video-performance by Avelino Sala and the impressive site-specific Sanctum by Levi van Veluw. Bertoni’s installation, voiced by Carl G. Beukman, aims to relate the opposing states of existence playing on perceptive contrasts, both ocular (Black and White) and spatial (corridor and room) and sensorial (tactile and psychological) by introducing, through a white and immaculate gap, in an environment littered with salt and headed by a cloth-shroud sewn by the artist with alchemical symbols. The “tunnel of light” and the lunar landscape seem to stage death rather than ponder it, but the addition of the individual element of the funeral sheet imposes on the whole scenario a reflection similar to the possibility of death in Heidegger, where the ontological exposition of the death of others serves to escape one’s own.

Also Avelino Sala offers a work with exorcising traits: the beautiful intuition of the horse linked to death (think of the equestrian and pictorial tradition, from Dürer to Füssli to Cattelan) risks provoking the opposite effect due to the natural reaction from “narrow escape” which is adopted in these cases of due unrequited emotional traction, spells that replace meditation.

True catalyst of the forces in the field is the immersive project of Levi van Veluw, capable of enclosing with precise genuineness all the linguistic aspects pursued by Della morte e del morire. Sanctum, under the guidance of Angel Moya Garcia, combines the synchronic ambiguity of rigorous and archaic forms with a marked nostalgic force, fertile in cinematic references, creating the right vibration to decant Death, a terrible and inevitable quartz watch. The transcendent breathed is the fruit of the adopted scheme of the classical tabernacle, but also of the symbolic constellation that invests this artificial temple, not far from the semiological idealism of Baudrillard, where signs and objects dominate the subject.

What is Death, then? It is the loss of meaning, not a biological end but a dispersion of finality, no longer able to distinguish fiction from reality. Concluding precisely with the most sensitive promoter of pataphysics: «First, Benjamin (and later McLuhan) captures the technique not as a “productive force” (where Marxist analysis is enclosed) but as a medium, as a form and principle of all a new generation of meaning. … The technique as a medium prevails not only on the “message” of the product (its use value) but also on the workforce, of which Marx wants to make the revolutionary message of production. Benjamin and McLuhan saw more clearly than Marx: they saw that the real message, the real ultimatum was in the production itself. And that production has no meaning: its social purpose is lost in seriality. The simulacra prevail over history. »2

[1] The dubbing of the Italian version is licentious but interesting: «it is our last dinner; we all have the plague and every day that remains we must have a party».

[2] J. BAUDRILLARD, The industrial simulacrum, in “Symbolic Exchange and Death”, Milan, 2007, pp. 64-65.


Tenuta dello ScompiglioSabrina Mezzaqui, La vulnerabilità delle cose preziose, 2019
foto di Alice Mollica Courtesy l’artista e Associazione Culturale Dello Scompiglio

Titta Cosetta Raccagni, I cannibali, 2019 foto di Alice Mollica
Courtesy l’artista e Associazione Culturale Dello Scompiglio

Cecilia Bertoni, Camera #5, 2019
foto di Guido Mencari Courtesy l’artista e Associazione Culturale Dello Scompiglio

Avelino Sala, Riderless Horse, 2019
Performance e videoinstallazione Courtesy l’artista e Associazione Culturale Dello Scompiglio

Levi van Veluw, Sanctum, 2019
foto di Guido Mencari Courtesy l’artista e Associazione Culturale Dello Scompiglio

Photo Notes: About Photo London 2019

A polished and carefully offered fair, visited on a day of unprecedented London sun. Just finished, the fifth edition of Photo London confirms a more than positive trend (42,500 visitors this year, up on the 40,000 of 2018) that compensates for the massive efforts of the founders, Michael Benson and Fariba Farshad, to make it ever bigger and attractive: over 100 galleries, participants from every corner of the world, have been very well distributed in the generous spaces of Somerset House, an authentic eighteenth-century castle reinvented in 2000 to become the epicenter of contemporary British culture. If possible.

No fuss, it must be said immediately that the fair develops a good rhythm, not boring, despite the size and the compartmentalized distribution of the various stands. Still, you can’t do without certain photography, masterful it is true, although advocate of a Mannerist perfume that bears the whole fair, resizing that “especially the future” proclaimed by the management. However, sectorial virtues are rather sophisticated, technical and above all narrative, showing a visibly high quality on the market. Interesting in this regard, a copious oozing of small sizes for the walls of all Somerset: not only polaroid, always present, but various “pocket” declinations often with non-standard dimensions, denouncing the analogical ambitions of the photographers in circulation.

The expectation that emerged from the Discovery pavilion, where emerging talents proposed by 25 selected galleries, clearly international, are concentrated and well-deserved. Any name? Of this specific session the romantic inclination of some authors takes precedence over the remaining offer, more pertinent to the context but paradoxically even more current due to the temporal ambiguity suggested in the historical moment incarnating the eternal Nietzschean Present: the shots in the odor of Battaille of TILO & TONI proposed by Metronom gallery (Modena); the beautiful and damned portraits by Radek Husak exhibited by Dellasposa Fine Art (London) with fresco-like poses by a Signorelli, photos evoking Renaissance preparatory studies in silver tip, even if there are only jelly salts in silver (live) ; dulcis in fundo the Archeologies of the Present by Marco Maria Zanin brought from the Spazio Nuovo (Rome).

Returning to the Ground Floor, it would be inelegant (and uncomfortable) to propose a list of authors, after all, as mentioned, valuable, but I would like to mention the effective stands in the relationship between the setting up / works / space, capable of a certain exhibition autonomy: the Edel Assanti gallery (London) with few pieces manages to create a clear and concentrated punctum that qualifies the (3) authors; the dark and melancholy “dark room” effect recreated by Galerie Johannes Faber (Vienna) where black-background photographs evoke an attractive ghosts-story accent; to note also the Robert Mann Gallery (New York) with a pastel chromatic impact to describe the pale flashes of American everyday life.

About collateral events, although the Stephen Shore show alone deserves a trip to the capital (the Women in Photography pavilion with the works of Rachel Louise Brown, Mary MacCartney and Susan Meiselas is rather redundant), the surprise comes from the direct operation from the artist Gavin Turk, author of a public selection where several artists (some very young) create a photographic work in dialogue with the powerful bronze egg, signed by Turk, then the aforementioned are projected in loops on four screens surrounding the ovoid sculpture: Portrait of an Egg, is the ironic and successful main dish of the fair.


Photo LondonGavin Turk, Oeuvre (Verdigris), 2018, Courtesy Live Stock Market and Gavin Turk

Mary McCartney, Ballerina in Sink, London, 2004 © Mary McCartney

Stephen Shore, ‘Los Angeles, California, February 4, 1969’ (1969) © Stephen Shore. Courtesy 303 Gallery, New York

Nicolò Cecchella, Darren Harvey-Regan, Marco Maria Zanin. Impronte

The peculiar two-dimensionality of photography has created in its historical maturation easier approaches to painting, even defining the case studies (portrait, landscape, still life, etc.) and often encouraging reciprocal references, still very much in vogue today, between caravaggism and Renaissance suggestions as regards photographers, and the infatuation with photographic installations by artists of other backgrounds. Hybridizations never fail.

As far as sculpture is concerned, the relationship becomes more sought after, despite having far away roots, but it determines open fields of research: the successful exhibition Impronte, curated by Angela Madesani, at the Passaggi arte contemporanea gallery in Pisa needs to be explored. A triptych of resolutely skilled artists on the theme, with distinct paths yet capable of creating sumptuously homogeneous results almost suggesting the idea of ​​a single show: an appropriate amalgamation of the symbolic image of refraction, where the terrible and divine (transcendent) image gathers all the colors in pure and linear light.

Light and perception are synonyms of Nicolò Cecchella’s work, present with the work Volto Terra (2015-2017), fulcrum of the exhibition, terracotta casts of his own features imbued with poetic and scientific references (for brevity, think about the mask by Pirandello and the optical phenomenon of the Rubin vase) as well as a probable prompter of the title of the exhibition due to the effective formal synthesis of both the macrosystems concerned, that of sculpture and photography. The imprint, in fact, is the materializing moment par excellence, denouncing the intention of the collective to dig (or remove, if you like) to get closer to the origins of the matter, understood both as a physical substance and a subject matter, to reach formal and symbolic archetypes of the artistic investigation, without depriving itself of metalinguistic references, also touching on other technical areas such as literature and artistic engraving.

The latter is the significant leitmotiv of all the works exhibited with suggested echoes, such as the combination of Traccia (2016-2017) by the aforementioned Cecchella and For an engraving of indefinite thousands of years (1969) by Giovanni Anselmo, and real notable citations in the photographs of Marco Maria Zanin whose subjects recall Giorgio Morandi’s painting. Zanin carries out an intriguing romantic process by aestheticizing architectural rubble and rural work tools, placing a rather significant mystical accent, elevating the objects to a fetish and following a widespread and pertinent contemporary inclination towards an archeology of the present (following Giovanni Urbani’s footsteps): beyond the graphics, works such as Symptom III (from the series Ferite/Feritoie) refer to a certain noble photograph (I think about Mechanical Form by Hiroshi Sugimoto or the more specific Beauties of the common tool by Walker Evans come to mind) in  perfect synchrony with Rephrased I (2013) by Darren Harvey-Regan, an English artist devoted to photographic investigation between the object and its representation. Unlike the other two members of the collective, who are more humanist and anthropological, Harvey-Regan‘s research contemplates an analytical rigor centered on the perceptive dilemmas of the human eye, especially on the material-formal nature of the object, yet it is capable of to stimulate aesthetic values ​​and not deprive oneself of some poetic ascendancy; it is not by chance that the author often cites among his sources of inspiration the famous burin Melancholia (1514) by Albrecht Dürer. The engraving returns, c.v.d.

Overall, the exhibition has an excellent and brilliant display, without denying the monumentality of Harvey-Regan’s dolmen works or the naturalness of Cecchella’s works rather than the meditative autonomy of Zanin, despite the concentration of the gallery space. Unbalanced, one of the most accomplished exhibitions of the year (we are already approaching to the Venice Biennale) characterized by a careful and authentic but at the same time suggestive line, in reference to which it seems appropriate to coining the definition Relational Romanticism.

Luca Sposato


Nicolò Cecchella, Darren Harvey-Regan, Marco Maria Zanin. Impronte
curated by Angela Madesani
March 9 – May 25 2019
Passaggi – arte contemporanea
via Garofani 14, 56125, Pisa –

ImpronteImpronte, veduta parziale della mostra. ph. Nicola Belluzzi, courtesy Passaggi Arte Contemporanea

ImpronteImpronte, veduta parziale della mostra. ph. Nicola Belluzzi, courtesy Passaggi Arte Contemporanea

Darren Harvey-Regan, The Erratics – Wrest#3 e The Erratics – Wrest#7, 2015. ph. Nicola Belluzzi, courtesy Passaggi Arte Contemporanea

Marco Maria Zanin, Natura Morta IV, 2015, stampa fine art su carta cotone, 60 x 75 cm. ph. courtesy dell’artista

Alfredo Pirri’s artificial purgatory at the Eduardo Secci contemporary gallery

Although the title of the title may suggest it, the last solo exhibition by Alfredo Pirri at the Florentine gallery Eduardo Secci is not an exhibition tacked on contrasts, rather focused on limits: Day / Night is avowedly poetic with many pictorial suggestions evoked more or less intentionally according to the Nerudian principle that “poetry doesn’t belong to the writer”. However it investigates the often imperceptible connection between art and more rigorous systems such as optics and architecture.

Starting with the first room with the installation-lamp Studio-per-Imbrunire (someone will remember a well-known painting by Giacomo Balla), the chromatic impression becomes more and more evident and clear by exploiting the excellent diffused sunlight of the gallery, an invitation to repeat the visit on several occasions to prove how time fades the colors, shattering, with slow curvature, on the transparencies of plexiglass in Studio per Compagni e Angeli, a markedly architectural site-specific work which stimulate an experiential and not merely visual fruition . The allusion to the luminous dust combined with the fresh lightness of the feathers creates a sensory contrast between the actual perception and the promptly offered meditative invitation, given the strong poetic accent already discussed, a temporal and existential friction: it is four o’clock in the morning or four o’clock at night? Pirri leaves us the pleasant doubt.

The optical and metalinguistic games chase each other further in the room dedicated to the most paroxysmal works: the recent production of the Arie series, almost unpublished in the use of chalcographic black chasm, cancels out the grace so far found in favor of an enveloping shadowy dimension, an undergrowth anyway refreshing and familiar, as of (congenial term) Mediterranean scrub.

Taking up the initial concept, the border investigated between painting and architecture deserves a brief study; recalling how Jannis Kounellis liked to call himself “painter” (Pirri himself writes it in an article in 2013 for the magazine L’Espresso) transcending a more physical and full-bodied sense (“the meat” he called it) of this traditional technique, so also for the artist from Cosenza, painting spreading in space takes on architectural features. It is not a simple dialectic, there is no intertwined relationship as in the modern fresco (which, among other things, the gallery enjoys a pleasant example of the early twentieth century), but a true transubstantiation because the works coincide with their new nature when they are exposed. This highly mystical reflection serves as a twilight counterpart precisely with the more evanescent and pindaric atmosphere of the other side of the exhibition: only by their fusion can beauty, not equilibrium, be born, since the operation is characterized by continuous dynamic relationships, never defined, often even powerful and incisive. “The sun slips beyond the dunes to rape other nights,” the poet wrote.

Thus, a state of limbo pervades, an artificial purgatory that is precise both in analytical reading and in technical reading, perhaps alluding to the world of chalcographic engraving, the land of none of the visual arts, marked in the numerous traces, footprints and releases of the various works presented (even the watercolors 33 giri have an idea of ​​”press”) and peculiar in its ritual, circular and meditative process as Day / Night is, and always will be.

Luca Sposato


Alfredo Pirri. Day / Night
March 30 – May 11  2019
Eduardo Secci contemporary
piazza Carlo Goldoni 2, 50123, Firenze
055/661356 – –

Alfredo PirriAlfredo Pirri, Studio per Compagni e Angeli, metacrilato colorato in pasta e piume conciate (dimensioni reali)

Alfredo PirriAlfredo Pirri, Studio per All’imbrunire, metacrilato colorato in pasta e lampione (dimensioni reali) e 33 giri, acquerello su carta arches (250 x 125 cm)