“Lingua morta” (Dead language) is the first group show hosted by Divario gallery in Rome, which opened on September 20 and available until December 15, 2023, that brings together the artists Alessandro Costanzo, Jacopo Naccarato, Francesco Pacelli and Bernardo Tirabosco; for three of them is the first show in Rome.
The title of the exhibition, curated by Davide Silvioli, reminds to the famous treatise by Arturo Martini from 1945 called ‘Scultura lingua morta’ (Sculpture as a dead language), focusing, despite this reference, on the concept of painting. In the national contemporary art scene, it happens often hearing about a ‘return to painting’, to indicate works mainly characterized by a marked figurative approach and a strong use of colour. On the contrary, this project would not be labelled as a real ‘painting exhibition’, because it is distant to what is the traditional and current use of this term. Despite the fact that some artists, such as Jacopo Naccarato, are expressly interested in this technique, the works on show at Divario do not own the peculiarities of brushstroke or canvas. Indeed, the thesis argued by Silvioli in the critic text is that a pictorial dimension can also be detected in forms, and through processes, placed outside of the painting practice, camouflaging itself in results that implicitly repeat certain features.
The project, so, rather than talking about life or death of painting, invites us to note its ways of change, regardless of techniques and means. Starting from this consideration, the researches included in the exhibition need an interpretation key to be found in variety rather than unity. Alessandro Costanzo presents two pieces from the ‘Deserts’ series, each made by synthetic cotton wool and industrial netting, in which the softness of the former material is interrupted by the hardness of the latter. The shape of the grid, often used as a technique for drawing, attempts to circumscribe the wadding and determines a pattern, where the colour of the cotton and the nature of the material elude the possibility of exact reiteration of a specific portion of the whole texture.
Thanks to Jacopo Naccarato‘s work, in the context of “Lingua morta”, we step outside any delimitations such as grids, frames or pedestals, finding two sculpture wall works. In “Corpo randagio (tentativo d’abbandono)”, limbs of a body, made of wood, iron and wax, stretch vertically on the wall, with distance, creating a laceration of the space-time continuum. The rupture creates an effect of full and empty spaces, of black and white, one caused by the gallery wall, the other by the ink used to refine the installation.
All the artworks on show are wall-mounted with the exception of ‘Lava salva cremeweiss’ by Francesco Pacelli, made by ceramic and placed on a plinth. It is a sculpture that could be defined as obtained by stratification, in which each component, initially autonomous, relates with the others during the firing phase. The result is unitary, heterogeneous, magmatic, as if in movement, to the point of recalling an organic entity. In the diptych ‘I fuochi della notte’, by Bernardo Tirabosco, layers of marbled paper are used in order to create works with multiple layers of colour intensity, while remaining on adherent colour tones, with multiple pictorial planes. The veins are as if restrained, in some cases, by the geometric linearity of the cut, as well as the diversity of grain, of the paper itself, making the work mutable, chameleon-like.
Valeria De Siero
AA.VV. Lingua Morta
DIVARIO – via Famagosta 33, 00192 Roma
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