Laura Villani. The metaphysical huntress

Laura Villani. The metaphysical huntress

Go beyond the physical appearance of reality, beyond the experience of the senses, represent the mystery, evoke a mute power before the Logos, which we have lost in an existential solitude, where very often things steal the place from the human beings, who probably cannot bear that an object can survive their lives. In these moments the creative process of artist Laura Villani is articulated. Her career was born with engravings; the painting arrived in 1993 with the participation in the San Carlo Borromeo prize at Museo della Permanente in Milan. Five years later she participated in the Tokyo International Print Triennal and the Print Internacional de Cadaqués (a place dear to Salvador Dalì). She exhibits in Paris, Rome, Florence and Venice and, in the meantime, sets up three personal exhibitions.

There are no human figures, yet it is as if being were lurking somewhere and one feels the restlessness. On the other hand, the artist is the first to supervise this microcosm made of darkness and, to paraphrase Gustav Mahler, she is like a huntress in the night: she doesn’t know whether to hit and what to hit. Laura Villani reflects on the relationship between space-time and Man-Nature, using the darkness to represent the inner and eternal dimension of the human being: the object seems to bewitch the subject by becoming immobile and absolute, the corners create disorientation and bewilderment but also seem to suggest to seek a new type of contact with Life, while one is silent and awaits a new germination. Laura Villani’s is an innocent universe, full of space. Eliotian where the artist manages to find an absolute time. And if man is absent it is because, still too busy with material possession, he is not yet ready to receive this immense gift. Indeed, the works of Laura Villani recall the prophetic poem of the English writer Eliot, The wasteland, from which the artist took the dream dimension and the symbolist figure (more medieval than nineteenth century), to overcome desolation and arrive at a rebirth, to a new vision of the world starting from the knowledge of our past, of our history, of our memory.

When did you start getting interested in art? Do you remember your first work?
I would say since childhood. I watched my father drawing. Very good and tireless he used many techniques, but sanguine and pastels were my favorites. I could use his wonderful oil pastels and this gave me great pleasure. I always had sheets of paper on which to indulge myself with shapes and colors. I invented landscapes with colorful skies. And then I spent the hours observing the works of the great masters in the art books that abounded in the house. I think that the passion for painting has always been in me.

What do you think of contemporary art? Which artists do you value most?
Too globalized, omnivorous all-encompassing. Too tense to surprise, too tied to speed (of creation and use), too tied to markets and fashions. In short, too much of everything. In this whirling chaos it is easy to lose contact with history, with the roots, with one’s own identity. I appreciate the artists who, remaining themselves, are able to express their feelings and excite with their work and their poetic intent.

Do you consider your art pre-civilization or post-apocalyptic?
I can’t tell. This is a question that I hand over to the viewer. I certainly represent a suspended world, emptied of the time that belongs to us. I am looking for an innocent world. A world full of space. Inhabited by an infinite time, which from the threshold of our present reconnects us to the archaic candor of distant beginnings, and from the depths of the past, reflects possible future scenarios. And in this almost Eliotian universe I can find an absolute time, where man does not appear. He is not yet ready to receive this immense gift. In its place I introduce things, its objects, the symbolic guardians of these immortal lands. They dialogue with the landscape in a protean silence. Perhaps they suggest a new type of contact, wider and deeper, with nature and with life.

How were your works born? From an inspiration? Observing reality? From a hidden desire?
It always comes from a vision that emerges from my imagination. I stop it on paper with a small drawing and then translate it into painting.

Do you think that today’s art has forgotten the metaphysical, anagogical aspect?
In general, probably yes but, especially in the pictorial field, there are many artists who express themselves by evoking an elsewhere filtered by their personal vision.

What question should art ask itself? Given that for a long time it was thought that art was beauty, and that it was simple…
I think that at this precise moment art has more than ever the task of stimulating a deeper reflection on the destiny of man, suggesting a higher dimension.

Your art intends to penetrate the human soul to bring out it from the shadows. In your opinion, is the human being corrupt from birth or is he basically good?
In my opinion, man has focused, beyond measure, his existence on material possession. Hence much of its corruption.

Is the artist almost always in dialogue with himself, and with the absolute questions that are valid at all times? Do you feel yourself in this condition?
I think so. My research leads me to reflect on existence, on the value of time in relation to space and on the relationship between man and nature.

Which technique do you prefer the most?
Oil painting.

Does your art want to give some answers or does it try to confuse and at the same time fascinate by making use of the mystery?
With painting, I might be able to stimulate questions about the world we live in, perhaps suggest new connections, but giving answers would be a bit difficult. I would like to reveal a possible world beyond our visible reality, to open a small passage.

Which exhibition gave you the most satisfaction?
Even if it hasn’t happened yet, I know it will surely be Vincent’s Things curated by Marco Goldin.

Tell us about your latest project Van Gogh. The colors of life and, above all, about your personal exhibition as part of this group show. Do you feel close to the great Dutch artist in any way?
This is precisely the Van Gogh. The colors of life exhibition, curated by Marco Goldin. Presented last January at the Kröller Müller Museum in Otterlo in the Netherlands and inaugurated in October, at the Altinate San Gaetano Center in Padua. Together with this great exhibition dedicated to Vincent Van Gogh (ninety of his works including paintings and drawings are on display) Goldin has created eleven personal exhibitions for eleven contemporary painters, which will be set up in the same location as the monographic reserved for the great Dutch artist. I am one of the eleven invited artists. Each of us was asked to interpret a theme taken from the pictorial world of Van Gogh. Marco Goldin assigned the objects to me, entitled my solo show: Vincent’s Things. I chose and studied the objects that could get closer to my world, trying to interpret them through my vision. It was an intense and extremely stimulating work. I really like the visionary aspect of Van Gogh’s painting, the originality and uniqueness of his expressive language. I love his Dutch period, his brown and mossy palette where it emerges the echoes of seventeenth-century painting for which I have a great predilection, from Caravaggio to Georges de La Tour to Rembrandt, Zurbaran. Their shadows, their lights connect emotionality to perception.

Speaking again about Van Gogh, in one of his letters to his brother Theo in 1882, hesays: “Artist means always seeking without ever being able to find everything”. Do you agree?
Absolutely yes. It is a path that winds and takes shape through stratifications. It proceeds and evolves slowly, sometimes with difficulty, sometimes with sudden impulses. And when you think you’ve found what you were looking for, another thought will haunt you again …

Your biggest dream?
Exhibit, exhibit and travel a lot to exhibit.


Ritratto di Laura Villani photo © Carlo Dulla

Laura Villani, Preludio all’innocenza, 2019, oil on canvas, cm 60 x 81

Laura Villani,  Le cose di Vincent, L’approdo del silenzio, 2019, oil on canvas, cm 70 x 110

Laura Villani La fonte del tempo 2019, olio su tela cm 60 x 81Laura Villani, La fonte del tempo, 2019, oil on canvas, cm 60 x 81

Laura Villani, Il solitario, dalla serie Le cose di Vincent, 2019, oil on canvas, cm 70 x 110

Laura Villani, Evaporazione di un regno, 2016, oil on canvas, cm 82 x 118


  1. Eamon Regan

    23 December

    Fantastic work and commentry by antalinograsso. Link between metaphysical and spiritual world and art.

  2. Annalina

    23 December

    Thanks a lot!
    Annalina 🙂

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